- - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Bill of Rights Day is this Friday, Dec. 15. It reminds one how far this country has departed from first principles. The 2015 gay marriage ruling complete a rewrite of the First Amendment, which used to say and mean, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press … ” We are familiar with the word “expression,” and it seems an innocuous expansion. However, “expression” enables a nearly unbounded multi-billion-dollar pornography industry.

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion on gay marriage states, “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to advocate and teach the principles that are so fulfilling and central to their lives and faith.” Such language restricts religious freedom by excluding “free exercise thereof.” This restriction prohibits exercise of religious beliefs in people’s business and personal lives — even though the Constitution makes no distinction between individuals, organizations and churches. The interpretation marginalizes tens of millions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim believers for whom God’s creation of heterosexual marriage means that homosexual behaviors separate people from the love relationship God desires with humanity. Any subsequent scriptural reasoning applied to life must derive from that basic understanding.

Now we have a country where women, citing freedom of expression, may enter the adult film industry but may not cite expression of religious conviction as a barrier preventing their businesses from designing and baking a wedding cake for a gay couple.

NOLAN NELSON

Eugene, Ore.


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