The Democratic Party’s Religious Intolerance Harms Real People

 

Barronelle Stutzman
Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, stands to lose every penny she owns after politely declining to participate in a same-sex wedding.
In its 2016 platform, the Democratic Party identified itself as “the party of inclusion,” promising to “work together to move this country forward, even when we disagree.” Yet a resolution the party adopted last month shows that the Democrats are contradicting themselves.

The new resolution makes plain the party’s opposition to people of faith whose views depart from secular orthodoxy on hot-button social issues.

Couched between statements aimed at wooing non-religiously affiliated voters (commonly referred to as “nones”), the DNC resolution takes a clear jab at religious voters. Complete with scare quotes around “religious liberty,” the resolution claims that people of faith who want to live and work consistently with their religious beliefs pose a threat to their fellow Americans—including “religious/nonreligious minorities.”

Here’s the statement, which the Democratic National Committee passed nearly unanimously as part of the wider resolution:

WHEREAS, those most loudly claiming that morals, values, and patriotism must be defined by their particular religious views have used those religious views, with misplaced claims of “religious liberty,” to justify public policy that has threatened the civil rights and liberties of many Americans, including but not limited to the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities;

Even in today’s contentious political atmosphere, the resolution’s anti-religious tenor is striking. The idea of lashing out against Americans whose “morals, values, and patriotism” are rooted in religious beliefs would have been impossible for our founders to imagine when they designed the nation’s Constitution “for a moral and religious people.”

More than anything else, the DNC’s resolution points to a larger, troubling theme that has played itself out in federal, state, and administrative courtrooms throughout the past decade-plus. Over and over, government actors have treated the religious views of their fellow Americans with suspicion and outright contempt, dismissing deeply held beliefs as a sham.

The most prominent example of this anti-religious bigotry was on full display in the state of Colorado’s seven-year quest to punish Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips. While the Colorado Civil Rights Commission pursued its original complaint against Jack, one commissioner publicly compared his plea for religious freedom to that of slave owners and perpetrators of the Holocaust—asserting that, “[f]reedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history.”

In its 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rebuked the commissioner as well as the rest of the commission who remained silent in the face of such open hostility to religion. As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the court’s opinion, “To describe a man’s faith as ‘one of those most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use’ is to disparage his religion in at least two ways: by describing it as despicable, and also by characterizing it as merely rhetorical—something insubstantial and even insincere.”

Incredibly, even after the decision, the state targeted Jack with a second lawsuit. It agreed to drop the case after new commissioners were caught on tape agreeing with those anti-religious comments after the Supreme Court cited them as evidence of impermissible hostility toward religion.

Jack is far from the only target of the anti-religious sentiment that all too frequently marks “the party of inclusion.” Like Jack, Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers is a creative professional who has undergone years of prosecution from her state after politely declining to participate in a same-sex wedding for a friend and longtime customer. And like Jack, Barronelle’s last resort is to seek relief at the nation’s high court, which she is pursuing.

There’s no denying that anti-religious bigotry has real-world consequences. It harms real people in tangible ways. Jack and Barronelle remind us of that. The last thing we need is for the DNC to continue this trend.

Published in Politics
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There are 13 comments.

  1. Ralphie Member

    It is interesting that liberals and Democrats are silent on Muslim intolerance of everyone except a Muslim.

    • #1
    • September 10, 2019, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Jay Hobbs: Yet a resolution the party adopted last month shows that the Democrats are contradicting themselves.

    Newsflash!

    Jay Hobbs: The new resolution makes plain the party’s opposition to people of faith whose views depart from secular orthodoxy on hot-button social issues.

    As Ralphie pointed out, this statement is not true. Muslims certainly don’t share Democrat views on hot-button social issues. But Muslims are not criticized, only conservative Christians. Which means this is more about politics than it is religion. As it should be, I suppose.

    Jay Hobbs: Even in today’s contentious political atmosphere, the resolution’s anti-religious tenor is striking. The idea of lashing out against Americans whose “morals, values, and patriotism” are rooted in religious beliefs would have been impossible for our founders to imagine when they designed the nation’s Constitution “for a moral and religious people.”

    Very true. Our founders just couldn’t imagine all this.

    Jay Hobbs: government actors have treated the religious views of their fellow Americans with suspicion and outright contempt, dismissing deeply held beliefs as a sham.

    I think this is why Clinton and Obama are permitted to talk about God in their speeches – their fellow Democrats know they really don’t believe in God. But if Democrats are making the same assumptions about Muslims, I think they’re mistaken. 

    Coexist stickers don’t help. There are very important different perspectives on things, which leftists would prefer to ignore. But even if they ignore them, they’re still there…

    • #2
    • September 10, 2019, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Ralphie Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I think this is why Clinton and Obama are permitted to talk about God in their speeches – their fellow Democrats know they really don’t believe in God.

    Coincidently, as Mayor Pete has discovered, God agrees with Democrats. That is very convenient as a tactic to neutralize those who really do believe that we are sinners in need of redemption; that we are tempted and fail. You can justify anything under the sun using the Bible, and the biblical/historical ignorance of the masses makes it an easy task for the charismatic. 

    • #3
    • September 10, 2019, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):
    You can justify anything under the sun using the Bible, and the biblical/historical ignorance of the masses makes it an easy task for the charismatic. 

    Very good point.

    • #4
    • September 10, 2019, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Seawriter Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I think this is why Clinton and Obama are permitted to talk about God in their speeches – their fellow Democrats know they really don’t believe in God.

    Well Barak Obama believes in a god. His creed starts there is no god but Barak and Michelle is his prophet.

    • #5
    • September 10, 2019, at 12:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Buckpasser Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I think this is why Clinton and Obama are permitted to talk about God in their speeches – their fellow Democrats know they really don’t believe in God.

    Well Barak Obama believes in a god. His creed starts there is no god but Barak and Michelle is his prophet.

    As Saint Barack once said: “sin is being out of alignment with my values”.

    • #6
    • September 10, 2019, at 1:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. E. Kent Golding Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I think this is why Clinton and Obama are permitted to talk about God in their speeches – their fellow Democrats know they really don’t believe in God.

    Well Barak Obama believes in a god. His creed starts there is no god but Barak and Michelle is his prophet.

    Barak is his own God.

    • #7
    • September 10, 2019, at 3:46 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. SkipSul Moderator

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    It is interesting that liberals and Democrats are silent on Muslim intolerance of everyone except a Muslim.

    This is changing. Expect increasing levels of cooperation between Muslims and Christians here. It is already happening in the UK, where the disdain for faith is more acute.

    • #8
    • September 10, 2019, at 5:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    It is interesting that liberals and Democrats are silent on Muslim intolerance of everyone except a Muslim.

    This is because they are allies of convenience in the red-green alliance.

    • #9
    • September 11, 2019, at 12:49 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    It is interesting that liberals and Democrats are silent on Muslim intolerance of everyone except a Muslim.

    This is changing. Expect increasing levels of cooperation between Muslims and Christians here. It is already happening in the UK, where the disdain for faith is more acute.

    But see Minnesota politics. See the Democratic Party nationally. Note the alignments in Telescope Media Group v. Lucero:

    Telescope Media Group, a Minnesota corporation; Carl Larsen; Angel Larsen, the founders and owners of Telescope Media Group

    Plaintiffs – Appellants

    v.

    Rebecca Lucero, in her official capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights; Keith Ellison, in his official capacity as Attorney General of Minnesota

    Defendants – Appellees

    ____________

    Foundation for Moral Law; Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence; Sherif Girgis; Cato Institute; 11 Legal Scholars; Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.; African-American and Civil Rights Leaders; State of Alabama; State of Arkansas; State of Kansas; State of Louisiana; State of Missouri; State of Nebraska; State of Oklahoma; State of South Carolina; State of Texas; State of West Virginia

    [The above filed] Amici [briefs] on Behalf of Appellants [the Christian couple with a business plan for wedding video production as expression of their biblical view of marriage]

    American Civil Liberties Union; American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota; District of Columbia; State of California; State of Connecticut; State of Delaware; State of Hawaii; State of Illinois; State of Iowa; State of Maine; State of Maryland; State of Massachusetts; State of New Jersey; State of New Mexico; State of New York; State of Oregon; State of Pennsylvania; State of Rhode Island; State of Vermont; State of Virginia; State of Washington; Americans United For Separation of Church and State; Anti-Defamation League; Bend the Arc, A Jewish Partnership for Justice; Central Conference of American Rabbis; Interfaith Alliance Foundation; Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund; Muslim
    Advocates; National Council of Jewish Women; People for the American Way Foundation; Union for Reform Judaism; Women of Reform Judaism

    [The above filed] Amici [briefs] on Behalf of Appellees [Rebecca Lucero, in her official capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights; Keith Ellison, in his official capacity as Attorney General of Minnesota]

    Oh, I certainly got the line from a Muslim peer, in 2008, when he said he and I surely agreed on opposing homosexuality and the suggestion of same sex marriage, and suggested I should be on board with Hezbollah as a religious/ethnic self-defense force. We’ve seen how that has played out in our national politics.

    • #10
    • September 11, 2019, at 1:30 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Jay Hobbs Contributor
    Jay Hobbs Post author

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Jay Hobbs: Yet a resolution the party adopted last month shows that the Democrats are contradicting themselves.

    Newsflash!

    Jay Hobbs: The new resolution makes plain the party’s opposition to people of faith whose views depart from secular orthodoxy on hot-button social issues.

    As Ralphie pointed out, this statement is not true. Muslims certainly don’t share Democrat views on hot-button social issues. But Muslims are not criticized, only conservative Christians. Which means this is more about politics than it is religion. As it should be, I suppose.

    Jay Hobbs: Even in today’s contentious political atmosphere, the resolution’s anti-religious tenor is striking. The idea of lashing out against Americans whose “morals, values, and patriotism” are rooted in religious beliefs would have been impossible for our founders to imagine when they designed the nation’s Constitution “for a moral and religious people.”

    Very true. Our founders just couldn’t imagine all this.

    Jay Hobbs: government actors have treated the religious views of their fellow Americans with suspicion and outright contempt, dismissing deeply held beliefs as a sham.

    I think this is why Clinton and Obama are permitted to talk about God in their speeches – their fellow Democrats know they really don’t believe in God. But if Democrats are making the same assumptions about Muslims, I think they’re mistaken.

    Coexist stickers don’t help. There are very important different perspectives on things, which leftists would prefer to ignore. But even if they ignore them, they’re still there…

    “Newsflash.” :) Is it bad form to laugh with you when you’re laughing at me? I agree, you’d have a hard time ignoring the overt hostility even if you tried–which of course, many still do for whatever reason.

    • #11
    • September 11, 2019, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. SkipSul Moderator

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    But see Minnesota politics. See the Democratic Party nationally. Note the alignments in Telescope Media Group v. Lucero:

    I do not expect that alliance on the Left to last for very long, especially not if the hard left continues to show hostility towards all religious expression. If we get to a time where the sort of trans-propaganda that’s rampant in the UK elementary schools comes here, things will shift rapidly.

    Every coalition is an imperfect one, and the Left’s hostility to all faith may well be the undoing of their current strength.

    This caught my eye this morning as another crack that can be exploited:

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/marianne-williamson-caught-on-a-hot-mic-saying-conservatives-are-nicer-to-her-than-the-left

    • #12
    • September 12, 2019, at 7:32 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    But see Minnesota politics. See the Democratic Party nationally. Note the alignments in Telescope Media Group v. Lucero:

    I do not expect that alliance on the Left to last for very long, especially not if the hard left continues to show hostility towards all religious expression. If we get to a time where the sort of trans-propaganda that’s rampant in the UK elementary schools comes here, things will shift rapidly.

    Every coalition is an imperfect one, and the Left’s hostility to all faith may well be the undoing of their current strength.

    This caught my eye this morning as another crack that can be exploited:

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/marianne-williamson-caught-on-a-hot-mic-saying-conservatives-are-nicer-to-her-than-the-left

    The push-back in the U.K. does not seem to be against the national policy, but rather against its implementation in specific all or mostly Muslim student schools. Muslim MPs are not raising questions, debating the issue.

    It looks like different rules for different people, not a realignment where Muslims make common cause with Christians against the secular left.

    • #13
    • September 12, 2019, at 12:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like