The Indiana #RFRA, Memories Pizza, and the Left’s Fascist Orgasm

April 6, 2015

satire left tolerance liberal fascism

(Credit: Michael Ramirez)

“I know there is an authoritarian Left in this country, and I fear it.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan to Richard Nixon (1970)

(Preface: I should clarify something from the start — I am not a religious person. Born and raised Roman Catholic, I haven’t been to a Mass for anything other than a wedding or funeral in over 35 years. While I respect the Church (and most other faiths) and the opinions of the faithful (Well, most of them), I feel no need or urge to go to church on Sundays or offer up my voice in prayer; the existence or not of God is not of great importance to me, though I don’t doubt that God exists in some form. Neither atheist nor agnostic, perhaps the best description for me is “apatheist.” I just don’t care.

What I do care about passionately, however, is the promise of the American Revolution, the political and social settlement represented in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the freedom of all decent people to live their lives as they see fit without fear of being picked on or persecuted for who they are. What I write below should be read in that context.)

What happened in Indiana over the last week was an utter, damnable disgrace, and a good portion of this nation should be ashamed of themselves for acting like a digital lynch mob.

How did this start? A bit over a week ago, the Indiana legislature passed a bill, similar to a federal act and laws in 19 other states, allowing defendants in lawsuits, including those brought by non-governmental actors, to offer religious belief as a defense when accused of discrimination. It was not a “safe harbor” or anything that precluded a suit or encouraged discrimination. A court still had to determine whether the professed religious defense was outweighed by a pressing state need. Its only purpose was to provide a possible shield to those who felt their religious beliefs were being trampled. (Further essential reading.)

The reaction to the bill made one wonder if Indiana hadn’t opened death camps for gays.

The hysteria generated by progressive reactionaries and other fools who I’m sure didn’t read the bill was appalling to behold. Monumental hypocrites such as Apple’s gay CEO Tim Cook roundly denounced Indiana for bigotry against gays and for denying their rights… while Apple makes iPhones in Communist China and sells them in Iran, where gays are regularly murdered by the state for being gay. Other ignoramuses called for the NCAA basketball tournament to be moved from Indiana next year, or ran to the microphones to condemn Indiana while pretending their own state’s RFRA didn’t exist..

Eventually the pressure from the howling horde of progressive corporate execs, the MSM, and “activists” proved too much for the cowardly lions in the Indiana legislature and their jelly-spined governor, and they amended the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to gut its provisions. The mob had won, and the democratic will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives was left beaten and bleeding in a back alley. If that were the end of it, it would be bad enough.

But it wasn’t.

During the week of furor over Indiana’s RFRA, a “reporter” at ABC’s Channel 57 affiliate in Indiana,  Alyssa Marino, went looking for devout Christians mouth-breathing, hate-filled homophobes who would refuse service to homosexuals.

And she found them at Memories Pizza

You can read Scott Ott’s report on how the media created the Hell that was about to descend on the O’Connors, owners of “Memories.” But I want to point out one especially egregious example,  a tale of two headlines:

headlines

(h/t @TDelovely)

The top is the first headline to run over Marino’s story, and below is the “corrected” version. See the enormous difference between the two? The first claims the O’Connors declared a blanket denial of service to gays. Pretty despicable, right? The later limits that to catering a gay wedding. (And who would order pizza for a wedding, anyway?) But, here’s the kicker: Marino’s question to Crystal O’Connor was wholly hypothetical! There was no gay couple seeking pizza for their wedding. Marino has simply walked in and asked a question along the lines of “What would you do if…?” O’Connor then made the mistake of answering honestly: gays would be welcome to eat at the restaurant, presumably also to get takeout or delivery, but that her business would decline to cater a wedding because it would require them to participate in an activity that went against their Christian faith. Again, a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. The hypothetical gay couple could then go to another pizza parlor for catering, which would profit.

Simple, right?

No. This was the crime of “wrong thought,” and for that the O’Connors became vragi naroda, “enemies of the people.” Thanks to the media and the firestorm ignited on the Internet, Memories Pizza’s social media presence was attacked, and threats of violence, arson, and even death were received. It got so bad the O’Connors closed their shop and went into hiding. While through the efforts of Dana Loesch and her crew at The Blaze TV, the O’Connors more then recouped their losses (1), one has to ask: Did they really deserve this for simply holding an opinion not popular with our media and urban elites?

Of course not! What happened to Memories Pizza and to the Indiana government was disgusting: Thinking they had found their new Emmanuel Goldstein, the ignorant, reactionary Left began with a ritual Two Minutes Hate and ran with it until it became nearly a sexual ecstasy of rage. The state government was intimidated, a couple was left in fear for their lives, and the rights of people to freedom of conscience and freedom of association were torn apart in a political Bacchanalia.

There is a sickness in our body politic, one brought about by the authoritarian Left the late Senator Moynihan cited at the start of this article. One key component of the American settlement is the idea of political and religious tolerance, that we can all hold different beliefs –and we don’t have to like those beliefs or even each other– but not be punished for them. Our English forebears, Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, experienced just that sort of oppression and came to a New World to escape it. Later it was the Jews fleeing persecution in Europe; a letter from President Washington to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island eloquently describes that idea:

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

(…)

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Emphases added. Washington, I’m almost certain, would be nauseated by what happened this last week.

What the authoritarian Left is doing strikes at the heart of the American settlement by refusing to honor the “liberty of conscience” we have long made room for in this land. Remember the conscientious objectors of the Vietnam War era (and earlier wars), who refused to engage in combat because of religious objections? Then, the Left lionized them as heroes. Would they now be spat upon because they used religion as a defense? It was for moments like these, when the power of the State impinges on the deeply felt religious beliefs of people, whether in matters of war or simply participating in a wedding, that Congress passed nearly unanimously and President Clinton signed the federal RFRA, and the states followed with their own.

But the Left leaves no room for dissent, unless it is dissent they approve of. All others are not just disapproved of, but must be actively harassed and punished until they publicly recant and think right thoughts, like some Maoist “struggle session.”

I’m going to close with a long quote from attorney Kurt Schlichter, who served many years in the Army, including Kosovo, where he saw first hand what happened when the consensus of tolerance broke down:

Which brings us to America in 2015. It’s becoming a nation where an elite that is certain of its power and its moral rightness is waging a cultural war on a despised minority. Except it’s not actually a minority – it only seems that way because it is marginalized by the coastal elitist liberals who run the mainstream media.

Today in America, we have a liberal president refuses to recognize the majority sent to Congress as a reaction to his progressive failures, and who uses extra-Constitutional means like executive orders to stifle the voice of his opponents. We have a liberal establishment on a secular jihad against people who dare place their conscience ahead of progressive dogma. And we have two different sets of laws, one for the little people and one for liberals like Lois Lerner, Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, who can blatantly commit federal crimes and walk away scot free and smirking.

Today in America, a despised minority that is really no minority is the target of an establishment that considers this minority unworthy of respect, unworthy of rights, and unworthy of having a say in the direction of this country. It’s an establishment that has one law for itself, and another for its enemies. It’s an establishment that inflicts an ever-increasing series of petty humiliations on its opponents and considers this all hilarious.

That’s a recipe for disaster. You cannot expect to change the status quo for yourself and then expect those you victimize not to play by the new rules you have created. You cannot expect to be able to discard the rule of law in favor of the rule of force and have those you target not respond in kind.

Read the whole thing.

The Left is discarding the rule of law for the rule of force, substituting the power of the mob for the “immunities of citizenship,” and while you may think it silly to compare America to Kosovo, it may also be that Col. Schlichter has simply reconnoitered farther down the road they want us to walk and seen where it ends.

“I know there is an authoritarian Left in this country, and I fear it.”

And we should, still.

Footnote:
(1) Fair disclosure: I was one of the donors and was honored to do so.

RELATED: The Power Line podcast has an excellent discussion of the Indiana situation, and RFRAs in general, with law professor John Yoo.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Advertisements

Religion of Tolerance Watch: one-legged man to hang for leaving Islam

February 7, 2011

We as Americans value religious freedom. Descended from people who themselves were persecuted for their religious choices, we made it a core article of our civic creed that one may freely practice one’s religion (within certain broad boundaries) and even change one’s beliefs without fear of punishment from the State. Not happy as a Catholic or a Buddhist? Then you can become Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, Taoist, some brand of neo-pagan, even atheist — whatever you want. And if your new beliefs don’t make you happy, switch again. You’re religion is your own business, and no one else’s.

Except in Islam, where the punishment for apostasy is death:

An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.

Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.

Mr Musa, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s, has worked for the Red Cross for 15 years and helps to treat fellow amputees.

He was arrested in May last year as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy following a crackdown on Christians within Afghanistan.

He claims he was visited by a judge who told him he would be hanged within days unless he converted back to Islam.

But he remains defiant and said he would be willing to die for his faith.

This punishment is in line with what is written in the hadiths, the sayings and deeds of Muhammad as related by his Companions and those who came after. For example, we read in one of the most highly-trusted collections, the Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated ‘Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.‘”

Emphasis added. Keep in mind that, according to the Qur’an, Muhammad was a perfect pattern of conduct for all mankind and, since the Qur’an is supposed to be the eternal words of Allah, for all time, too. Thus, while the sentence of death per se for apostasy doesn’t appear in the Qur’an, its presence in Bukhari’s collection as the words of Muhammad spell bad news for Mr. Musa.

Or anyone who wants to leave Islam.

This news prompts two questions:

How fragile and insecure must a religion be, that it threatens to kill those who dare leave it?

And why isn’t Secretary Clinton on the phone right now with Afghan President Karzai to remind him that a nation dedicated to religious freedom might have a problem with fighting and dying on behalf of a nation that kills people for exercising that freedom? Correct me if I’m wrong, but, so far as I can tell, the administration has said nothing.

via Jihad Watch

RELATED: A good discussion of Islam and apostasy at Sheik Yer’mami.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Canadian Coptic Christians have a target on their backs

January 3, 2011

As part of their war against Arab Christians, Al Qaeda has targeted and threatened more than 100 Canadian Copts:

More than 100 Canadian-Arab Christians are listed on an Al Qaeda-affiliated website, apparently targeted because of their alleged role in attempting to convert Muslims.

Some of those named say concerned Canadian intelligence officials have contacted them.

The Shumukh-al-Islam website, often considered to be Al Qaeda’s mouth piece, listed pictures, addresses and cellphone numbers of Coptic Christians, predominantly Egyptian-Canadians, who have been vocal about their opposition to Islam.

In a forum on the website, one member named Son of a Sharp Sword, says “We are going to return back to Islam and all of the Mujahedeen (holy warriors) will cut off their heads.”

Three pages of the fundamentalist, Arabic-language website titled “Complete information on Coptics” sets to “identify and name all of the Coptics throughout the world who hope to defame Islam,” The website calls the Coptic Christians living abroad “dogs in diaspora,” a derogatory reference in Arabic.

Tell me again this isn’t a religious war.

The persecution and pogroms Christians in the Islamic world has grown so bad, that the Coptic Pope has considered canceling Christmas celebrations.

via DaveedGR on Twitter


Religious freedom for me, but not for thee

September 1, 2009

In Egypt, an American ally where Coptic Christians are regularly oppressed and persecuted, controversy over the treatment of non-Muslim minorities has arisen anew after the issuance of a fatwa (a ruling on Islamic religious law) that prohibits the building of new churches or donating money to build them, comparing them to “a nightclub, a gambling casino, towards promoting the alcohol industry or for building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs.”

[Dr. Naguib Gabraeel] went on to inquire “So what is the Shari’a position to what was mentioned especially concerning the will of a Muslim to donate for the building of a church or a monk’s cell? If the answer is prohibition, aren’t these houses where the name of God is mentioned? Is not Christianity a recognized religion according to the Egyptian constitution? There are also a lot of wealthy Copts and Coptic businessmen who donate towards the building of mosques.”

The Fatwa Council replied affirming the correctness of what came in the textbook and issued a Fatwa on September 10, 2008 (document number 1809), which is also published on its official website.

To highlight the reason for this “sin” the Fatwa went on to state: “Salvation in the Christian religion is the belief in Jesus as Lord, where Muslims fundamentally disagree on it. Muslims believe that Issa [Jesus in Arabic] peace be upon him, is a slave of Allah and His Messenger, and that Allah is one. He begets not and He is not begotten and there is none like unto Him. So if it is seen that one sect has deviated from this absolute Monotheism, then according to that person’s own religion he is forbidden to donate for the erection of buildings where Allah is not worshiped alone.”

According to Mohammed el-Maghrabbi, deputy chief of the Faculty of Law, and author of the controversial textbook, what he wrote is a principle agreed upon by all Islamic jurists. He added that a will, if devoted by a Christian for building a Church, is forbidden and sinful and is considered in Islam as separation from God. So it is also illegal if a non-Muslim wills his inheritance towards building a Church or a Synagogue.

This Fatwa has shocked many as it classified churches with nightclub, gambling casinos, and places for rearing pigs and dogs, which are considered ‘unclean’ animals according to Islam and Muslims.

The article later reports that Dr. Gabraeel called on Grand Sheikh Tantawi, the head of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is the acknowledged center and intellectual leader in Sunni Islamic thought, to seek a clarification from him. Sheikh Tantawi then caused a ruckus of his own by denying the fatwa:

On August 19, 2009, a delegation from EUHRO, headed by Dr. Gabraeel, paid a visit to Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, who said that the Fatwa was wrong and untrue and that Muslims can make voluntary contributions to build churches, as a church is a house for “worshiping and tolerance” and that “Shari’a does not prevent Muslims from donating to the building of a church, as it is his free money. He also affirmed that Al-Azhar does not object to the “unified law for building places of worship.”

Tantawi added that building churches should be left to the Christians and Muslims are not allowed according to Shari’a to interfere in other faiths, “because religion, faith and what a person believes in is a relationship between him and his God.” He also called on the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa to hold the five jurists who issued the Fatwa accountable.

Other Islamic scholars were quite upset with the Grand Sheikh, and with reason: the prohibition against building or repairing churches and synagogues is fundamental to Islamic law, being a part of the Pact of Umar, a deal made between the second Caliph, Umar, and subjugated Christians. Christians agreed not to:

1. Build “a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk”;
2. “Restore any place of worship that needs restoration”;

(…)

10. “Publicize practices of Shirk” – that is, associating partners with Allah, such as regarding Jesus as Son of God. (This is the argument of the fatwa-issuers. -Phineas) In other words, Christian and other non-Muslim religious practice will be private, if not downright furtive;
11. Build “crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets” – again, Christian worship must not be public, where Muslims can see it and become annoyed;
12. “Sound the bells in our churches, except discreetly, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices [with prayer] at our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets”;

Follow the link to read the whole thing. It’s enlightening. In essence, Sheikh Tantawi was going against the decree of one of Muhammad’s own companions, one of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. One wonders if he sincerely believed this, or if his statement was “political,” meant to avoid another Muslim-Copt riot.

Regardless, this contretemps over Coptic churches is another example Islam’s compulsion to seek supremacy over all other faiths and of the incompatibility of Islamic law with Western democratic liberties.

LINKS: The site of the U.S. Copts Association. More from Jihad Watch.