The fallout from the 2016 presidential election has illuminated the problem the Left and the media have with religion.
Disagree with those on the Left — and you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and/or anti-Semitic. That is the message. If someone doesn’t spout or agree with the secular progressive agenda, that person should be shunned, boycotted, and screamed into submission or silence.
“I don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, everything else that [this] lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”
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Yet where is the tolerance from the people who supposedly embrace love, not hate?
Here are seven examples of people and groups who have taken the brunt of the Left’s hostility toward religious expression in America:
1.) Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV
This couple attend a conservative, evangelical Christian church in Waco, Texas. The pastor of their church has preached on the biblically-based interpretation of traditional marriage between one man and one woman. An article published by Buzzfeed in November 2016 called out the Gaineses to deny or admit they they are against same-sex marriage.
Chip and Joanna Gaines were targeted for their success, as well as their Christian values. Therefore, a public demand was made by the Left for an explanation of their personal convictions.
The Gaineses wisely chose to ask for privacy, and many on both the Left and the Right bristled from the attack by Buzzfeed. However, if the well-known Christian couple had lovingly explained their belief in traditional marriage, would their beliefs have been respected? Not likely.
2.) Brendan Eich, Former CEO of Mozilla
Brendan Eich was named CEO of Mozilla on March 24, 2014. Almost immediately, there was an outcry from the Left when it was revealed that in 2008, Eich had made a $1,000 donation to “Yes on 8,” supporting Proposition 8 — which would ban same-sex marriage in California.
Eich not only stepped down as CEO, but resigned from Mozilla entirely on April 3, 2014. A man’s leadership of the company he co-founded was destroyed within a week because of a progressive frenzy.
3.) Sweet Cakes by Melissa
Aaron and Melissa Klein made national headlines when they refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. The Kleins said that to bake a wedding cake for a gay marriage would go against their personal religious conviction. The business was ordered to pay the same-sex couple $135,000 in damages — and they eventually closed their shop. The progressive Left howled with victory in running a small company out of business because of its “homophobic” beliefs.
The Kleins did not refuse service to the lesbian couple. They simply refused to make a wedding cake for them due to their religious conviction. Their religious liberty was trampled upon in the name of acceptance by those who disagreed with their views on traditional marriage.
4.) Florist Barronelle Stitzman
Stitzman, a 71-year old florist, declined to provide the floral arrangements for a longtime customer at his same-sex wedding. That’s correct. She provided flowers to the individual many times before that, but could not provide flowers for the wedding as she felt it would condone the union.
She was sued and the court fined her $2,001 in damages and legal fees, instructing her to provide her services to all wedding ceremonies, whether the couples were heterosexual or homosexual. Stitzman rejected the settlement and wrote a powerful letter, saying: “Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.”
She went on to say, “I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that [this] lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.” In short, Stitzman was unwilling to sell her freedom. She insists her beliefs are equal to the beliefs of others. She made no statement about what others should or should not do; she simply wants the right to stand by her own convictions and the left is intolerant of such a stand.
5.) Schools, Teachers, Parents, Workers
In public schools, the traditional Christmas break is now called “winter break.” Charlie Brown decorations were removed from a school classroom door during the Christmas season because those decorations included the quote from Linus explaining what Christmas is all about. Now elementary school bathrooms are under fire to accommodate individuals who might biologically be male, but identify as female, or vice versa.
And if you utter a word of protest, you are intolerant. Should you dare to say “Merry Christmas” or differentiate between girls and boys, you are offensive, ignorant, and in need of “political correctness.” There is no room for debate or an open mind, because you are simply wrong.
6.) Those Who Are Pro-Life
Pro-life individuals, in general, base their beliefs on the fact that the unborn qualify as human beings with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This life is given by God the Creator — that He formed each child, planned his or her life with a purpose. The conviction is that abortion is the ending of life, the murder of an innocent.
Yet, the secular Left would have you believe that pro-life is the same as anti-woman. That it is somehow degrading to argue for the life of a baby and judgmental to “shame” women by providing ultrasounds to show the life within or suggestions for adoption support. That it’s a woman’s choice because it is a woman’s body. Yet the argument is not about her body. It is on behalf of the child’s body that grows second-by-second inside of her.
7.) The Chick-fil-A Brand
Liberals have targeted the Chick-fil-A company and brand as a symbol of intolerant hate — as if the chain were a sanctuary where conservatives go to eat delicious chicken and despise secularism simply because the restaurant has long supported conservative Christian values such as traditional marriage. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has gone so far as to encourage a boycott of the restaurant.
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Make no mistake: Chick-fil-A serves everyone. It does not deny food to any paying customer. The company as a whole simply stands by its traditional religious convictions.
Disagreement is not the same as intolerance. Debate makes us stronger as a country and a society. But for a group of people who are so anti-bullying, the Left is certainly quick to bully any person or group that has a different mindset than they do.
This isn’t about right or wrong. This is about the opportunity to live according to one’s personal convictions — the freedom that our Founding Fathers fought for so intensely.
Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.