Having sworn himself to be a mortal enemy of the Second Amendment, pledging to go door-to-door to confiscate the AR-15s law-abiding citizens possess to protect their homes and family, Peter Francis O’Rourke now sets his sights on the First Amendment by announcing at a CNN townhall event on LGBTQ policies, a “church tax” on those religious entities who believe, based on their religious faith, that homosexuality is a sin and, based on their originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, that gay marriage is not a constitutional right. As reported on The Blaze:
O’Rourke affirmed that he would strip churches and other organizations of their tax-exempt status if they refused to support the LGBT cause by opposing same-sex marriage.
CNN’s Don Lemon asked O’Rourke how far the government should punish organizations for following traditional religious beliefs about marriage.
“This is from your LGBTQ plan, and here’s what you write, here’s a quote, ‘Freedom of religion is a fundamental right but it should not be used to discriminate,'” Lemon said.
“Do you think religious institutions, like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?” Lemon asked.
“Yes,” O’Rourke said simply to a loud applause from the LGBTQ audience.
“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for any one or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” O’Rourke added.
Apparently, in Beto’s mind being entitled to hold one’s own religious beliefs is not a basic human right, unlike killing the unborn up until the moment of birth. Tolerance in the alternate universe of the liberal elite is a one-way street. But they don’t want tolerance. They want acceptance. Never mind that the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Never mind the touted separation of church and state. Beto would place the jackboot of government oppression on the throat of religious liberty. His “church tax” is intended to dry up contributions to churches, religious institutions, even their charitable efforts. He wants us to believe the Constitution was written to protect lifestyles, not liberties.
Beto seems to have fully embraced candidate Barack Obama’s famous “bitter clingers” remark made during the 2008 campaign:
Barack Obama had not yet locked up the nomination for his party when he revealed his true feelings about gun owners to attendees of a private fund raiser in San Francisco last April:
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Beto is targeting Obama’s cartoonish characterization of “bitter clingers” who are simply law-abiding Americans who believe the Constitution means it when it says we have the right to keep and bear arms in order to protect our right to speak freely and talk about and practice our religious beliefs without government intervention or restriction. Hillary call them, called us, “deplorable” and worse yet, “irredeemables” even though redemption is what our Christianity is all about.
Early in his presidency, President Trump issued an executive order freeing religious institutions from some of the shackles imposed or supported by the Obama administration, including the Johnson Amendment, which prevented religious leaders from linking their religious beliefs to public issues from the pulpit.
It ended the official hostility of government to all things religious that was part of the Obama administration’s fundamental transformation of America. This was no small thing and means that the likes of the Little Sisters of the Poor would not be dragged into court again to fight for the religious liberty the Constitution guarantees them. Modifying regulations to honor religious conscience was significant, as was the directive not to enforce the Johnson Amendment, which forbids priests and pastors from disagreeing from the pulpit with government encroachment of our liberties.
Trump’s placing Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court was a huge step forward in preserving religious liberty. Gorsuch, as Lifesite News reported, was a staunch defender of the religious liberty rights in the cases of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor:
Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor. Their names were synonymous with major Supreme Court battles to stop the Obama Administration from forcing them and others to pay for drugs that cause abortions.
And when it came to their religious freedom to opt out of Obama’s abortion agenda, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch agreed.
In a significant ruling in a major landmark case, Gorsuch outlined a broad definition of religious freedom that could point to how he would rule in similar cases regarding abortion if confirmed by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ultimately sided with Hobby Lobby and the Court ruled that companies like it can be exempt from the Obama abortion mandate. Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in 2013, writing, “The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.”
He also argued in his own separate opinion that the individual owners and directors also had valid religious freedom claims….
Gorsuch also sided with the Little Sisters of the Poor, defending the rights of nuns not to be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans.
As the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, former head of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, once observed, President Obama’s idea of religious liberty differed little from Josef Stalin’s:
Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George recently wrote.
“You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”
Beto O’Rourke wants to restore that oppressive vision of a society without true religious liberty. President Trump believes otherwise. We cannot allow the federal government to strip away the religious conscience of a nation founded by those who believed our unalienable rights came from God and not government.