Monday, March 30, 2015

+Waldo Invokes Nazi Reference for Religious Freedom Legislation: The Implications for His Clergy

The following was shared by the Bishop of Upper South Carolina in a March 26 Facebook post, (UPDATE: the post has been removed as of 04/06/2015 but the contents are below)
Andrew Waldo:

"One brief recollection of Germany's 1930's-1940's requirement that gay/lesbian persons wear pink triangles and Jews wear yellow stars of David reminds us how far and how violently this kind of law can go and how utterly and deeply immoral, unChristian, cynical and un-American it is. No. No. No. And no. We will not stand for this." 
Re: Devout Christians Protest Indiana’s New Anti-Gay Law. We Need More Of This.
+Waldo's Nazi reference should bother traditional Christians in his diocese. How long will he tolerate priests and/or parishes in his diocese who "discriminate" against gays by refusing to participate in the same sex blessing rite? Aren't those priests and parishes forcing gays to wear pink triangles? And he condones that?

Was he not aware that South Carolina has similar legislation, and was he at the State house when an amendment to that legislation was introduced this year??

Is he aware that the Indiana legislation is similar to a Federal law signed by former President Clinton?

Has he read the legislation?

Here is a link to the Indiana bill in question, and let me quote from that page,

Religious freedom restoration. Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation. Specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying the law. Prohibits an applicant, employee, or former employee from pursuing certain causes of action against a private employer.  
I believe the following is the section that most of those who would say "No, no no" find objectionable,
Sec. 9. A person whose exercise of religion has been
substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding. If the relevant governmental entity is not a party to the proceeding, the governmental entity has an unconditional right to intervene in order to respond to the person's invocation of this chapter.

In an unusually balanced article at Yahoo we learn more about the flaws in our Bishop's reasoning,

Indiana University law professor Daniel Conkle, who testified in favor of the bill in Indiana legislative committees, said he was a supporter of gay rights and that the predictions of negative implications from the law were unjustified.
Conkle, who has written extensively on religious legal issues, said he didn't know of any cases under the similar state laws or the federal statute, which dates to 1993, where a court had sided with a religious objector in a discrimination case.
"This 'license-to-discriminate' argument that seems to have this relentless repetition is just legally wrong," Conkle said Friday. "It is as if you just keep repeating something often enough it takes on a life of its own."
If you keep repeating something often enough... Hmm, I think I've heard that once before.

So what will it be, can a Christian baker refuse to bake a gay wedding cake? If "No, no, no, that is deeply immoral, unChristian, cynical and un-American", then will Bishop Waldo condone an Episcopal priest in Upper South Carolina who refuses to bless a gay "marriage", or is that priest "unChristian" too?

Who will be the ones wearing armbands in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina?

1 comment:

  1. Surprise, surprise the Facebook post has been taken down.