More Evidence of Civic Ignorance

Over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton quotes a column written by one of those “serious news” folks from increasingly  absurd Fox News.

Joe Carr believes a day is fast approaching when pastors will be charged with hate crimes for preaching that homosexuality is a sin and churches will face lawsuits for refusing to host same-sex weddings.

“It’s just a matter of time,” said Carr, the pastor of Waynesville Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia. “What’s happening in Europe – we’re going to see happen here and we’re going to see it happen sooner rather than later I’m afraid.”

And that’s why the congregation will be voting next month to change their church bylaws – to officially ban the usage of their facilities for gay marriages.

“We needed to have a clear statement,” Carr told Fox News. “It’s to protect us from being forced to allow someone to use our facilities who does not believe what we believe the Bible teaches.”

In how many ways is this unbelievably stupid?

First–and most important–the U.S. Constitution has this provision called the First Amendment. The First Amendment includes something called the Free Exercise Clause–and that Clause absolutely prohibits government from telling churches what to preach or who to marry. Your church can preach hate, it can ban gays, blacks, unwed mothers or smart-ass bloggers–your church can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages, interfaith marriages, or marriages between ducks and drakes…whatever your doctrinal pleasure, no matter how unwelcoming or bizarre.

READ MY LIPS: the government can’t make you change your theology or your practices. You are safe from the assaults of the homosexual hordes.

Feel better?

On the other hand, if the government actually could impose its will on your church–if there was no Free Exercise Clause, and if (as you seem to believe) a Supreme Court decision mandating equality could be applied to churches and religious bodies–do you seriously think that changing your bylaws would protect you?  Try to think (I know it’s hard). If your church changed its rules and declared its church van would no longer observe the speed limit, do you really think that would protect you from getting a ticket?

And by the way–if you own your church, you get to say who uses it. Even if your bylaws don’t spell that out.

This is why civics teachers and lawyers drink.


  1. “Fear”…is all they have anymore. Their deity has never come through with his/its predictions so someone has to be blamed…how about those icky gays? Or all the people practicing a variation of the same religion by interpreting a bible passage differently. Usually to increase the wealth of a few by the masses. I have lost count of all the different churches and religions using Christianity as a basic belief.

    A hate cult ? No doubt they are and hiding behind religion. It was the Southern Baptists that said it’s all right to enslave a different race because a bible passage said so. They need another group to HATE now so a few religious leaders can live in luxury.

    To all the religious hate cults wishing the Ten Commandments be posted in government offices and buildings, I say, nail a copy of Thomas Pain’s “Age of Reason” to every church door so the uninformed followers become aware of one of the influences to establishing this country…and why Separation of Church and State was so important to them. FREE to NOT practice any one religion is protected as well.

    In North Carolina they are trying to pass a law making Christianity the official state religion. But it has to be their specific flavor of Christianity of coarse. (It may have passed, IDK)
    And you progressive/freethinking Indiana citizens had better pay attention to what happens in NC since I was surprised to see many connections to NC politics and the Indiana Prison System. As I posted before and like Florida, this is how (through the prisons) the religious Taliban launders gov grant money to use against politicians who do not agree with their draconian, hatful beliefs. “And”, eliminate public schools to be replaced with religious hate cult schools.

    I think the official story of all religion should be a part of all public school teachings as a part of history. The bible was edited by man several times to satisfy the particular editors agenda…NOT written by the hand of any one deity.
    And which version of the Ten Commandments should be followed anyway?

  2. The GOP is now built on a platform of obstructionism, proselytilization and lies. Sad thing is, they seem to be winning. They probably believe God is leading them but, they should never forget God led Pharoh’s army to the Red Sea for a reason.

    I do want to say that the Democrat party and the media should cease and desist using the term “the GOP caved” on the rare occasions a bill is passed or anyone is appointed to a vacant position after months of waiting. Rubbing their nose in their own offal is not the way to promote bipartisonism. The old “catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” applies here. But again; should the GOP ever cease and desist voting to repeal the ACA – then rub their noses in their fecal matter with a vengence. We should waste no more time waiting and hoping their lies and convoluted reasoning will end; the followers of the recent political stupidity the past few years seem to know no other way. They are unaware of their errors because they have no knowledge of civics, the Constitution and the Amendments, and little true knowledge of the Bible so they blindly trust our “leaders”. A favorite old poem of mine, written by the ever-popular anonymous applies here: “The grizzley bear is huge and wild, it has devoured the infant child. the infant child is unaware, it has been eaten by the bear.”

  3. Sheila – If you have a way to send your article to Joe Carr, I hope you’ll do so.

    And JoAnn – please refer to Democrats as the “Democratic” Party rather than the “Democrat” party. Unlike the word Republican which is both a noun and an adjective, Democrat is a noun but Democratic is an adjective.

    Joe McCarthy used “Democrat” Party as an epithet to degrade Democrats. It’s obvious you are no McCarthyite, so I encourage you to be ‘Democratic” in your partying.

  4. Nancy; thank you. I actually did bat the change back and forth in my own mind, then decided it made no difference. I certainly do not want to be considered a McCarthyite in any way, even misusing a term:) My family had one of the few TVs in our neighborhood and I vividly remember coming home from school for lunch and having to get around neighbors in chairs on on the floor watching the hearings. I ate many self-made pbj sandwiches during that time.

  5. Baloney.

    There’s also a thing called “freedom of association”, yet the Boy Scouts have been under attack for 10 years over gay rights. Gays IMO should be allowed to join Boy Scouts. But little boys should not be taken on camping trips by gay scout leaders, just as Girl Scouts should not be taken on camping trips by hetero males. This isn’t gay-bashing, it’s common sense. One reason I support gay marriage is that I recognize that people *are* different, we’re not all the same…certain people want to shtup certain other people.

    How far did that craft store chain have to go to simply set aside financial penalties while waiting for their legal efforts to proceed ? The US government made a federal rule that companies have to pay for birth control…does anyone who owns a company have to comport with Ms Sebelius’s wishes ? How’s that different from the government making it a hate crime to preach against homosexuality ?

  6. “But little boys should not be taken on camping trips by gay scout leaders, just as Girl Scouts should not be taken on camping trips by hetero males.”

    …So, let gay males take the girl scouts out camping…problem solved.

    Funny that the same people in an uproar about this have no problem letting their children go camping with the catholic church staff…known, and convicted pedophiles.

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