By Alan Sears
You hear it, in one form or another, every day. For all the fervent debates and spirited arguments and plain old yelling matches we are wont to get into on everything from politics to sports to religion, something deep in the soul of most Americans still holds to our quintessential conviction that “everyone’s entitled to his opinion.”
In our democratic republic, that’s about as democratic as it gets.
Which is why it’s so surprising, sometimes, to learn that not everyone believes this…and why it’s so dangerous when someone who doesn’t moves into a position of powerful government authority.
Consider, for instance, the case of Chai Feldblum, one of a number of President Obama’s recess appointments over the weekend. The President nominated her in September 2009 for a post on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which governs workplace issues across the country. Ms. Feldblum is on record as stating that “private beliefs” that do not affirm homosexual behavior should not be tolerated in American society.
Not public speech, mind you. Not overt, out-front demonstrations or protests or letters to the editor or call-ins to local radio shows. But “private beliefs” should not be tolerated.
In other words, people who don’t have “private beliefs” like Ms. Feldblum does about homosexual behavior should, under the right circumstances, be prosecuted to the limits of the law.
That would be a fairly breathtaking point of view, even if Ms. Feldblum were herself just an ordinary citizen. As an ordinary citizen, her fellow Americans, in their generosity, might arch a collective eyebrow, but we’d still say, however grudgingly, “She’s entitled to her opinion.”
But, as noted, the opinion of Ms. Feldblum isn’t being put forward as that of an ordinary citizen. Bypassing Senate confirmation, President Obama has installed her as one of the nation’s most influential government administrators—vested with deciding what’s fair and right and legal in offices and on worksites all over America. And to her mind, everyone in America has to not just acknowledge, or even tacitly embrace, homosexual behavior…but embrace that behavior wholeheartedly. Literally, wholeheartedly.
That’s a sobering prospect for the many millions of Americans who take the Hebrew Scriptures and the Bible seriously, or whose religious convictions and moral heritage declare homosexual behavior to be not only immoral, but destructive to a culture and to those who practice such behavior themselves.
Ms. Feldblum has some news for these people of faith: they’re no longer free to believe, much less express, such religious convictions. When religious liberty and what she likes to call “sexual identity liberty” collide in the public square, she says, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”
No surprise then that she was the lead drafter of the so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” which seeks to place people engaged in homosexual behavior in a legal class with special privileges and no protections for the consciences of religious employers who may object to assisting or funding such behavior. As she wrote in 2005, “I believe granting liberty to gay people advances a compelling government interest, that such an interest cannot be adequately advanced if ‘pockets of resistance’ to a societal statement of equality are permitted to flourish, and hence that a law that permits no individual exceptions based on religious beliefs will be the least restrictive means of achieving the goal of liberty for gay people.”
In other words, she thinks the government is fully justified in walking over any religious beliefs standing in the way of homosexual behavior.
To say the least, such views would come as something of a surprise to the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, and those who wrote the Constitution. They might even give pause to the current members of the Supreme Court. But Ms. Feldblum’s views are apparently no obstruction, in the eyes of this administration, to her ability to govern the American workplace.
And those views are all the more interesting when one considers her long, strong ties to the American Civil Liberties Union, the self-proclaimed “foremost defender” of each citizen’s rights protected by the First Amendment, and a group she served once as chief legislative counsel. Or when one takes into account her co-signing of a document entitled “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage,” which demands the expansion of the marital state to include polygamy, polyamory, and virtually any other imaginable combination of “consenting ” participants.
Out of the million plus lawyers in America, Ms. Feldblum is the one the ACLU chose to represent their own agenda in Congress. Now that she has been appointed to the EEOC, will the “foremost defender” of civil liberties now publicly agree or disagree with their former legislative counsel’s view that society should not tolerate certain private beliefs?
Regardless of what they say (or don’t say), the fact this has been an objective of the ACLU for a long time is not in question. As Cathryn Hazouri of the ACLU of Colorado stated, “One may practice one’s religion in private; however, once a religious person comes into the public arena, there are limitations in how that expression of their religion affects others.” So much for the plain words of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
In the end, the nomination and recess appointment of Ms. Feldblum is but the latest element of the growing evidence that the demands of the homosexual legal and political agenda extends far beyond simple, gentle pleas for “tolerance.” The pretense of that demand is fading fast on all fronts.
Of course, the people of Troy warned us long ago to “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” And when the nation’s most well-known civil liberties group chooses as its congressional liaison one who renounces the most basic of human and civil rights…
… and an administration gives vast authority over the nation’s workforce to one who would force workers to deny their deepest beliefs…
… it’s Greek to me.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
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