By Dale O’Leary
Freedom of religion is more than just the right to assemble for worship. True faith requires an all-encompassing commitment to God’s law. In the past, people of faith have suffered cruel torture and death rather than eat a mouthful of pork or toss a handful of incense on the altar of the emperor—because they believed such actions violated God’s law. Today, individuals and organizations are being persecuted, sued, and denied rights for refusing to surrender to the demands of the pro-abortion and pro-GLBTQ lobby. Freedom of religion is essential to a free society; therefore, no person, business, or nonprofit organization should be forced to violate their religious beliefs in order to conform to government imposed secular ideologies.
As governments surrender to pressure from GLBTQ activists, religious groups have been forced out of the adoption and foster care business. Small businesses have been forced to provide services for same-sex wedding celebrations. Children are forced into programs designed to attack their families’ religious beliefs about sexuality. Persons who speak negatively about same-sex attraction have been forced to undergo sensitivity training. Indeed, any negative attitude toward same-sex attraction is labeled as bigotry and equated with racism.
As attacks on people of faith mount, a law is needed to protect their rights. Therefore, I urge Congress to pass a Freedom of Religion Act.
1) No persons, businesses, or nonprofit organization should be discriminated against for their religious beliefs on life, sexuality, or marriage [nor should they be] forced to violate these beliefs.
2) Adoption agencies, foster care agencies, orphanages, those providing reproductive technologies, and other businesses or nonprofit organizations or persons who provide similar services have the right to restrict their services to persons who abide by their stated standards of belief and behavior. This would protect the organizations, the children, the adoptive parents, and the right of the parents of the children being placed to choose the religion in which their child is raised.
3) Parents shall be allowed to remove their child from classes or school programs which violate their religious beliefs.
4) Religious organizations, other nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals who provide wedding or pseudo-wedding services, including justices of the peace, shall not be forced to provide such services to same-sex couples.
5) No person or organization shall be discriminated against, charged with discrimination, or forced to undergo “sensitivity training” for expressing views about same-sex attraction, same-sex behavior, same-sex “marriage,” gender identity, or gender expression.
6) Persons with same-sex attraction who desire therapy that respects their religious beliefs, and therapists who provide such therapy, shall not be discriminated against.
7) Prophesy is an essential element of religious practice. Prophets speak truth to power, including naming names and calling leaders and people to repentance. Therefore, the right of persons associated with religious organizations to speak prophetically shall not be infringed. The tax exempt status of the institutions to which prophets belong shall not be threatened.
Persons with SSA and gender identity disorders want to silence people of faith, force them to change their beliefs, or accept second class status on the false premise that people have a right to be protected from having their feelings hurt. The exercise of freedom of speech and freedom of religion will necessarily make some people feel judged, offended, excluded, or discriminated against. However, no one has a constitutional right to have their feelings protected at the expense of other people’s fundamental freedom.
Dale O’Leary is an award-winning journalist and an internationally known lecturer on marriage, feminism, life issues, and the culture war. Her previous book, The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality, has been published in three languages. Her book, One Man, One Woman, can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/One-Man-Woman-Catholics-Defending/dp/1933184299. For more by Dale O’Leary, go to http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/oleary/03700.html or http://daleoleary.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/making-a-disorder-a-right/.
This article has been reprinted with the author’s permission.