On Monday, Nathan Deal, the Republican governor of Georgia, threw his faith and principles aside in order to feed the radical gay rights activists lions who were baring their teeth and threatening his state.
This move has far-reaching implications for the rest of the nation because it empowers these bullies and the powerful corporations who support them.
Let’s be clear: The bill Deal vetoed was one of the weakest attempts to restore the religious protections afforded by the First Amendment by any state. In fact, it did nothing to protect the freedom that should be available to ever person of faith. It only addressed religious institutions.
The gay bullies made Georgia’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been adopted by 20 states, all about them (isn’t everything these days). As the country was becoming more accepting of people with different lifestyles, it was the gay activists who stirred up this hornet’s nest of RFRA legislation by trying to force individuals and private business owners to participate in gay weddings. This not only causes many gays who are happy with their life and just want to get along, to cringe; it put Georgia and its governor between a rock and a hard place.
Georgia is now the film capital of the south. Thanks to the foresight of Beverly Kievman Copen who, in 1973, along with Governor Jimmy Carter, created the Georgia film commission, — the first outside of California — Georgia is now behind only California and New York in total film/TV production in the U.S. It’s a major industry in the state. Studios have invested millions there. Therefore, when Disney and others flexed their powerful muscles in an attempt to persuade the governor to veto the bill, it brought fear to the hearts of those who have built businesses around this thriving industry.
It truly was time for people of faith to choose who or what they would serve: God or money. Thousands weighed in on the issue.
There is no shortage in Georgia or any other state of bakers, caterers, photographers, bands, singers or venues for gay weddings. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a community without such venues or vendors for these events. Gay couples are more affluent and have more disposable income that couples in general and most businesses are only too happy to have some of it.
Georgia’s RFRA is not about discriminating against anyone or any group. In fact, there is a clause in there to that effect. It was never about serving or not serving those who say they are gay. Presently, that is the only way to tell if one is a member of this coddled, bellicose special interest group. There is no color or identifying mark. No gay gene has been found, but not for lack of trying. One is deemed gay simply if one says he is gay and, in many states, said persons are then afforded special protected status not available to the public at large.
However, acceptance is not enough for these gay bullies. That was clearly illustrated in the fight over Georgia’s RFRA. They will not stop until they force every church or faith-based organization to denounce their beliefs in order to open their doors and employment to everyone and everything, thus stamping out religion itself.
It was sad to see, Gov. Deal, a Southern Baptist, tie himself in knots as he mouthed the tired rhetoric of the gay bullies as he prepared the state for his veto. Using a passage from the Bible that showed Jesus reaching out to an outcast he offered this pathetic explanation: “What that says is we have a belief in forgiveness, and we do not have to discriminate unduly against anyone on the basis of our own religious beliefs.”
Then he called on his fellow Republicans pushing for the measure to take a deep breath and “recognize that the world is changing around us.”
Yes, the world is changing but the Bible warns us not to be conformed to the world. And, although the world changes, the Bible clearly shows us that God’s standards never change. Deal’s statements suggest that someone is simply “playing church.”
No one has to believe in God, but our founding fathers recognized that it is vitally important to protect the free exercise of religion for people of faith and their institutions, a right that has been undermined by activist jurists.
The battle being waged in Georgia will continue and it illustrates the importance of electing a president who will strictly uphold the Constitution and will appoint judges and justices who will do the same.