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Monday, March 28, 2016

Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal Caves on Religious Liberty

In the light of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's veto of a very weak religious liberty bill, I have a few questions for the governor and those who support this veto. As has often been the case in the modern debate over marriage, in his remarks today defending his veto of the watered down religious liberty bill, Governor Deal mentioned "language that could give rise to state-sanctioned discrimination."

Tell us, Governor, was it "discrimination" when, in 2004, 76% of Georgia voters made it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex "marriages" or civil unions? Was it "discrimination" when, by an average margin of nearly 68%, voters in over 30 other states did the same (or similar)? If not for a narrow 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that ignored the eternal truth on marriage, all of these laws would still stand. What happens if a more conservative court reverses last year's infamous decision? Is it only "discrimination" when the courts tell us that is the case?

In a seeming swipe at the Christian community, Governor Deal added, "I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask the government to confer upon them certain rights and protections. If indeed our religious liberty is conferred by God and not by man-made government, we should heed the 'hands-off' admonition of the First Amendment to our Constitution." I wonder if then Congressman Nathan Deal found it "ironic" when, in 1993 he was voting in support of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Christian conservatives know well where our rights originate, and we're certainly not asking for new ones from the government. This is exactly what liberals do. This is exactly what happened when the U.S. Supreme Court decided it could redefine the oldest institution in the history of humanity. Christians only need government to protect us in situations like this, when liberals have conferred new-found "rights" upon a group--in this case, "rights" that went unnoticed and unrecognized for nearly two centuries in the U.S.

As I've pointed out before, it is noteworthy that the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (the Fourteenth Amendment being ratified in 1868) did nothing to prevent all 50 U.S. states, including each state that entered the union after 1868, from enacting laws against homosexual behavior. As recently as 1961, sodomy was a felony in every state in the U.S.

In other words, for nearly 200 years and without any Constitutional conflictions or any "hands-off" approach, or any serious debate, homosexual behavior in America was seen as immoral and therefore illegal. Thus, we see that the Founders--the authors of the First Amendment to which Governor Deal refers--do nothing but support the traditional (biblical) view of marriage.

Again, those behind the homosexual agenda are not looking for compromise. As they have targeted Christians and Christian-owned businesses in other states, they will eventually target para-church organizations and the church. We must have politicians with the moral conviction to stand against the perverse homosexual agenda. Of course, this means an electorate with the moral conviction to choose such politicians. And this means revival.

Again, after our relationship with our Creator, the most important relationship in the universe is the relationship between a husband and his wife. Marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity—older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If ANYTHING is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can NEVER be compromise.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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