If You Can Deceive Planned Parenthood, Why Not a Gay Couple?

Just trying to figure out the tender parts of the Christian social conservative conscience.

If it’s okay for David Daleiden to lie to Planned Parenthood, then is it okay for a Christian baker to lie to a gay couple that wants the baker to make a wedding cake for the couple’s wedding? If lying is okay in the former case, do we need to change laws in states like Indiana to protect the religious freedom of Christian bakers to tell the truth?

Isn’t there something off about defending lying in one instance and in the name of constitutional protections demanding truth telling in the other?

Or put it this way: would the Christian baker who refuses to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony as a matter of conscience be willing to lie to make a video that exposes the wickedness of Planned Parenthood? Wouldn’t such a demanding conscience prevent the baker, as “journalist,” from doing anything at odds with her religious integrity?

This is what got me thinking (thanks to our California correspondent):

Sin is sin, no matter what, and there is a judgment for those who sin and are not part of the church. But that judgment is up to God. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t advocate for righteous laws everywhere necessary, and that doesn’t mean Christians cannot make moral pronouncements in the public square. It does mean that if our extra-ecclesial institutions have moral failures, it is not our necessary individual duties to correct those failures. Non-Christian people intent on sinning, at some point, may be allowed to fail.

Christians have the moral right to refuse to provide services for gay weddings and other events, in part because it is necessary to preserve freedom of speech. This case should be taken to the highest court in the land because no one, of any faith, should have to choose between violating conscience and closing his business for the right to choose what moral visions he publicly expresses.

But, critically, those religious liberty and free speech realities do not mean that Christians necessarily sin when they bake gay wedding cakes or sign marriage certificates for gay couples. One can act in Christian righteousness and either deliver the wedding cake or sign the marriage certificate. We need to be very careful about what God requires and very specific about what political decisions must trigger Christian rebellion. It is getting bad and will likely get worse, but we are not at that breaking point yet.

Can you re-write those last two paragraphs to read:

Christians have the moral right to refuse to provide services for gay weddings and other events tell the truth to abortionists, in part because it is necessary to preserve freedom of speech the sanctity of human life. This case should not be taken to the highest court in the land because no one, of any faith, should have to choose between violating consciencetelling the truth and closing his business for the right to choose what moral visions he publicly expresses preserving human life.

But, critically, those religious liberty and free speech realities do not mean that Christians necessarily sin when they bake gay wedding cakes or sign marriage certificates for gay couples lie. One can act in Christian righteousness and either deliver the wedding cake or sign the marriage certificate lie. We need to be very careful about what God requires and very specific about what political decisions must trigger Christian rebellion. It is getting bad and will likely get worse, but we are not at that breaking point yet.

Where does the analogy break down? Where does it clarify?

Your move.

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101 thoughts on “If You Can Deceive Planned Parenthood, Why Not a Gay Couple?

  1. Christians have the moral right to refuse to provide services for gay weddings and other events tell the truth to abortionists

    Why don’t you argue why they’re the same thing and you can defend your ideas instead of attack those of others for a change? Or man up and tell us why they’re not the same thing?

    Clearly you haven’t understood the Thomist argument you cited from Edward Feser, but here my erstwhile blogbrother shows how it’s done.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/07/22/how-christians-can-bake-cakes-and-sign-licenses-for-gay-weddings/#baker

    If you are a baker, no longer offer “wedding” cakes. It doesn’t mean you won’t make cakes that are suitable for weddings, but to you it will just be a cake and the client can use it in any way he or she likes. Since you are not offering it as a wedding cake, you can say with integrity that you are not selling a “wedding” cake for a same-sex ceremony. The same logic applies with regard to florists and photographers. Just stop marketing packages as wedding packages or offering wedding arrangements.

    The easy way out is to simply stop doing weddings. But I think you can probably be a bit more subtle than that.

    Perhaps this strategy seems a little too clever to you. Maybe that is the case, but I believe that if no one else cares about your conscience or integrity, then you are obliged to take steps of your own. This strategy may resonate with the biblical injunction to be “wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.” Many of us in a variety of occupations may eventually be in need of such stratagems…

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  2. It’s a good and difficult question. I’ve already seen some Christians say that they should say they’re unavailable if they find out the wedding cake is for a gay couple.

    The question is what degree are Christians obligated to give their enemies the rope to hang them with. Not a simple one.

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  3. I guess… if Rahab of her own free will and of no pressing need and design hopscotched into the offices of the government and made up a lie, then most likely spliced the interview to serve her agenda.

    Who knows now???

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  4. I’m still trying to figure out how you skirt the law in regards to discriminatory practices while being licensed to carry on commerce in subject to those laws. What would happen if I stop renting housing to homosexual couples, RC couples, out of wedlock couples, Jewish couples, African-American couples, etc. all in the name of the sanctity of my religious conscience? I’d rightly get sued out of business. What if the one grocery store in town complete with gas pumps was allowed to deny service to African-Americans on the grounds of religious conscience. We crossed this bridge in this country years ago.

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  5. Sean, you are correct, and when (let us call it) lifestyle A is given the same legal powers as the colour of one’s skin or religion, then you have a conflict.

    It burns the most because putatively piddly things like cake bakers and flower arrangers are getting hammered, while strangely enough I could not care less about one’s colour, lifestyle or religion in deciding whether to provide professional services.

    And it super-burns because lifestyle A is extremely offensive to many believers, the chief of sins of the flesh apparently.

    Freedom of speech seems dicey, I see it more as freedom of conscience. My church declares it cannot offend my conscience as an attending believer. This doesn’t extend my wants to society at large, sometimes very unfortunately.

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  6. sean
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
    I’m still trying to figure out how you skirt the law in regards to discriminatory practices while being licensed to carry on commerce in subject to those laws. What would happen if I stop renting housing to homosexual couples, RC couples, out of wedlock couples, Jewish couples, African-American couples, etc. all in the name of the sanctity of my religious conscience? I’d rightly get sued out of business. What if the one grocery store in town complete with gas pumps was allowed to deny service to African-Americans on the grounds of religious conscience. We crossed this bridge in this country years ago.

    The usual false premise, in fact one that even some on the Supreme Court bought.

    But declining to service gay wedding ceremonies is not the same as denying individual homosexuals basic services or commerce.

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  7. Tom, would it help to have a “blessed and exempt are the cakemakers” section in a notwithstanding clause to the Law of the Land?

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  8. kent
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
    Tom, would it help to have a “blessed and exempt are the cakemakers” section in a notwithstanding clause to the Law of the Land?

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    http://jonathanturley.org/2015/01/20/cake-wars-bakery-under-investigation-after-refusing-to-make-an-anti-gay-cake/

    Despite my support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, I have previously written that anti-discrimination laws are threatening the free exercise of religion. Some of these cases involve bakeries that insist that making wedding cakes for same-sex couples violates their religious principles…

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  9. Tom, I hear you…. at this point of time the cake has been left out in the rain and is rotten and has the ability to make several potential problems, as explicitly stated by the dissenters.

    It may have to come down to society being forced into moral disgust and action over the extent of enforcement against people who are simply trying to exercise their freedom of speech and conscience.

    The history of your fine country is loaded with court decisions being unenforceable, even a President made an alleged statement to that effect.

    Up here jury nullification has overturned criminal law and Parliament is never going to rewrite sections of the Criminal Code to begin it all over again.

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  10. The usual false premise, in fact one that even some on the Supreme Court bought.

    Yup, skin color is equal to practice of sodomy.
    Now we can root the neanderthals out with flamethrowers.
    They’re discriminating donchaknow.

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  11. kent
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
    Tom, I hear you…. at this point of time the cake has been left out in the rain and is rotten and has the ability to make several potential problems, as explicitly stated by the dissenters.

    It may have to come down to society being forced into moral disgust and action over the extent of enforcement against people who are simply trying to exercise their freedom of speech and conscience.

    Unfortunately, Darryl Hart and his “radical” Two Kingdoms ilk seem prepared to sit the religious freedom battle out as well–in fact, to once again give aid and comfort to the enemies of free exercise and religious conscience.

    The history of your fine country is loaded with court decisions being unenforceable, even a President made an alleged statement to that effect.

    Up here jury nullification has overturned criminal law and Parliament is never going to rewrite sections of the Criminal Code to begin it all over again.

    If you’re speaking of Canada, the problem is coming here also, of unelected and unaccountable government administrative bodies doing the PC persecution. IOW, no juries.

    I believe the Mark Steyn case was non-judicial

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_complaints_against_Maclean%27s_magazine

    as was the gay wedding cake case here [Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries]. We don’t even get a chance at jury nullification or prosecutorial discretion, since these “human rights” administrative bodies are filled with “social justice warriors” with an ax to grind [and wield!].

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  12. It is interesting that folks keep pointing to Rahab as someone who’s lies were justified as evidenced by being commended in the epistle to the Hebrews. Would you say the same about Samson? In his final act, he prays for strength so that he may avenge the Philistines for the loss of his eyes and then dies by a sort of suicide bombing.

    Is the fact that Rahab and Samson were commended for their faith imply that all that they did was commendable? Of course, Hebrews is a lot more specific about Rahab than Samson and perhaps there are subtleties I’m missing about Samson from the text. But it seems to me that these people of faith were also flawed and drawing justification for specific behavior (like lying or extracting vengeance) is a very questionable exegetical approach. I’m not saying deceit is never warranted, but I don’t find the appeal to Rahab dispositive.

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  13. @dgh
    “if we worry about the consciences of the bakers, why aren’t we also worried about Daleiden’s?’

    Isn’t it one of choice? It is one thing to choose to eat meat sacrificed to an idol, it is something else to be compelled to do so. One person might have not problem with lying to PP in an effort to expose their behavior while someone else may find that their conscience would not allow them to do so. Similarly, I can imagine one person having no qualms about selling rainbow cakes while someone else would have to find another line of work given the current legal realities. I don’t see the parallel between Daleiden and the bakers.

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  14. Actually, I’m saying they have rights as human beings(civil rights) and also, that an individual’s religious conscience doesn’t equate to the freedom of religious practice. Just ask the mormon polygamists. Finally, when you engage in the provision of goods and services in a particular town, county, state, country, you’re subject to the governing laws. You might want to read them close before you hang a shingle.

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  15. More than a few in Hebrews 11 are present that tweak OT religious thought, some outrageously.

    Tom, the lines are very blurry. It will be tough to arrest a pastor for preaching what he sees as truth if 200-300 members in the church get up and stand in between him and the police. Even the police may turn from fulfilling their apparent duties. The law requires the consent of the governed, amazing things have been done during our lifetimes.

    I grew up watching on TV dozens and dozens of situations where hundreds of people stood peacefully in protest over what they felt was injustice and the results varied (and of course some not very peacefully with reactions in kind)

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  16. Sean, you can only be deemed to be that way if you choose to say you are, even if you exhibit certain red flag behaviour it still doesn’t mean you are and you may change your mind later on anyways about how you want to live your life after making a certain declaration in a legal setting.

    Laws can’t be written on something this much gossamer to discriminate against.

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  17. And to me the bigger problem will be the inability to remove officers and members who have for one reason or another found themselves exposed and refuse to carry out what they agreed to when they joined….

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  18. @ DGH:

    Forgive my fluff-in-ear moment, but I don’t follow the logic. Daleiden faced a choice between lying to get information that he hopes will lead to prosecutions, or to let murders continue.

    The cake-baker faces a choice between lying about a relationship (“you are married”) or disobeying the state.

    It seems perfectly consistent to say that the baker should be free from state coercion, while D has moral freedom to take the first branch.

    Back at you: You indicated elsewhere that Ds lie was a reasonable subject of church discipline. Would you then take the same position toward the baker who baked the cake?

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  19. Grateful nobody had yet invoked Lot existing in faith in the midst of the evil, even having to endure a rough night when guests showed up.

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  20. We kind of had our own Lot here for awhile, he was bravely informing us of the stuff that got him furious from watching the TV news and ads for his renowned city….

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  21. What if Geraldo did something like this for Fox News.

    Would you cheer? Would you cheer louder if got really ugly?

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  22. kent
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
    More than a few in Hebrews 11 are present that tweak OT religious thought, some outrageously.

    Tom, the lines are very blurry. It will be tough to arrest a pastor for preaching what he sees as truth if 200-300 members in the church get up and stand in between him and the police. Even the police may turn from fulfilling their apparent duties. The law requires the consent of the governed, amazing things have been done during our lifetimes.

    Quite so, and where Darryl and his “radical” 2k ilk lose the thread. For the Jews to submit to their Babylonian or Roman conquerors is quite different than MLK and the marchers committing civil disobedience in the hope–successful hope–that unjust laws would be abolished.

    Instead, these r2k-ers simply give up, bend over and say, thank you sir, may I have another. The irony of course is that Calvinism drew a third parallel course to natural rights along with Catholic thought and the Enlightenment, and was perhaps the most influential of all three.

    http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1558/poth.v10i3.559?journalCode=pol

    I grew up watching on TV dozens and dozens of situations where hundreds of people stood peacefully in protest over what they felt was injustice and the results varied (and of course some not very peacefully with reactions in kind)

    Amen.

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  23. @ sdb:

    The interesting thing about Rahab is that she is specifically praised in Heb 11 for “welcoming the spies” and in Jas 2 for “giving lodging to the spies and sending them off in a different direction.”

    So two positions are possible:

    (1) These and only these actions were praiseworthy, but the lying was not, OR

    (2) The lying was necessary in order to give the spies lodging and send them off in a different direction.

    This is different from Samson, who is presented in Judges as a mixed bag (symbolic of the condition of Israel) and whose actions cannot be used as clear exemplars. (Hey, let’s go set foxes on fire … It’s in the Bible!)

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  24. Hard to draw a straight line between these issues. Preservation of life is fairly close to the summit in the hierarchy of ethical values, and baking a wedding cake for Adam & Steve occupies space somewhere much closer to the base.

    I personally don’t have a problem with baking that cake, as it is no more an endorsement of the wedding as a gun sale at the sporting good store endorses a murder.

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  25. Jed Paschall
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink
    Hard to draw a straight line between these issues. Preservation of life is fairly close to the summit in the hierarchy of ethical values, and baking a wedding cake for Adam & Steve occupies space somewhere much closer to the base.

    I personally don’t have a problem with baking that cake, as it is no more an endorsement of the wedding as a gun sale at the sporting good store endorses a murder.

    The gay wedding cake always equals a gay wedding but a gun at the sporting goods store almost never equals murder.

    Is there a tacit endorsement of gay marriage in baking the cake? Perhaps not, but we of course wouldn’t force a Jew to make a Nazi cake. And it’s certainly a lot more of a tacit endorsement for a wedding photographer working to get good pictures and asking everyone to stand over here and smile. If he’s doing his job right, he becomes a de facto conductor of the reception’s festivities, and that has to be seen as a tacit endorsement.

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  26. Tom, it’s true what equal what. But what in thee heck is a Nazi cake? Try staying in reality to make your point. How about a First Communion cake? The popish Mass is an abomination but is it really tacit approval for a Calvinist baker to bake one? You might say so, but some of us who actually subscribe chuckle in your general direction. We also say if another subscribing Calvinist thinks so and wants legislative back up, he should quit trying to make the world accommodate him and consider another line of work.

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  27. Tom,

    The only reason why baking a cake for a wedding would be seen as a blessing of the union is if the baker thinks it is. I doubt such processes were ever countenanced before the advent of gay marriage, it was simply baking a cake for a wedding. I don’t see why that needs to change.

    The question of discrimination in commerce is a real one, and it’s a very sticky wicket.

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  28. Jed Paschall
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    The only reason why baking a cake for a wedding would be seen as a blessing of the union is if the baker thinks it is. I doubt such processes were ever countenanced before the advent of gay marriage, it was simply baking a cake for a wedding. I don’t see why that needs to change.

    Oh, I’d say the cake itself in question was probably gay. Two brides. But my example of the photographer is more probative.

    And it’s certainly a lot more of a tacit endorsement for a wedding photographer working to get good pictures and asking everyone to stand over here and smile. If he’s doing his job right, he becomes a de facto conductor of the reception’s festivities, and that has to be seen as a tacit endorsement.

    The question of discrimination in commerce is a real one, and it’s a very sticky wicket.

    Only if we drag race in. Compare anything to race and the discussion can only go one way. Compare it to Jews refusing to serve people dressed in Nazi uniforms or refusing to bake a cake for Hitler’s birthday and principled discussion is actually possible.

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  29. Those claiming every square inch must brim with pride that the Christian bakery is tops in the list for tasteful guy weddings.

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  30. Actually, I’m saying they have rights as human beings(civil rights) and also, that an individual’s religious conscience doesn’t equate to the freedom of religious practice. Just ask the mormon polygamists. Finally, when you engage in the provision of goods and services in a particular town, county, state, country, you’re subject to the governing laws. You might want to read them close before you hang a shingle.

    sean, nobody’s denying that the lgbgt bunch got civil rights, it’s when they got special rights that it grates.
    Yeah, it’s legal according to positive humanist law.
    So was slavery, killing Jews, gypsies, the mentally retarded and anybody else that questioned the regime.

    It’s called the free exercise of religion clause.
    Contra a certain bunch that want to call something that’s not a marriage and force everybody else to go along.

    Mormon polygamy? What was Buchanan’s Blunder all about in 1858? Fed troops were sent out and Utah could not become a state until the Mormon apostates apostles got the word. No polygamy.

    Grateful nobody had yet invoked Lot existing in faith in the midst of the evil, even having to endure a rough night when guests showed up.

    Grateful nobody has yet argued that Lot should have given up the visitors to the mob.

    But wait. it’s coming.

    The only reason why baking a cake for a wedding would be seen as a blessing of the union is if the baker thinks it is. I doubt such processes were ever countenanced before the advent of gay marriage, it was simply baking a cake for a wedding. I don’t see why that needs to change.

    But it’s not a wedding, but a gross perversion of the natural law (duh).
    IOW there’s a reason why it’s called a gay wedding or ssm instead of the time honored usual wedding/marriage.
    And when it’s a polygamous, incestual or bestial marriage will the same argument be pulled out of cold storage to do double duty? Adam and Adam’s daughter, Adam and Spot?

    [Meanwhile on another planet, in a different time zone]

    Hey, you don’t have to worship the emperor, you just have to offer a 2k secular pinch of incense before this statue and then go back to doing whatever you do. Mumbling rosaries, genuflecting before statues of Mary, making the sign of the cross w. holy water etc.

    Like we said. Whatever.

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  31. Those claiming every square inch must brim with pride that the Christian bakery is tops in the list for tasteful guy weddings.

    Au contraire.
    Common sense/natural law (the last, a 2K fav by the way) might indicate otherwise.
    Somebody has got the basic biological plumbing issues profoundly confused/screwed up.

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  32. vd, t, “Darryl Hart and his “radical” Two Kingdoms ilk seem prepared to sit the religious freedom battle out as well.”

    Please tell us how you are standing in this great battle. Nothing even at New Reform Club.

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  33. b, sd, it’s not about the liars. It’s about their defenders. Many who defend Daleiden also defend the baker’s freedom of conscience. But what about Daleiden’s conscience? Is that chopped liver?

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  34. Jeff, I’m only reacting to the way social conservatives are reacting to both cases and looking for some measure of coherence about conscience. If people who defend liberty of conscience had to factor in Daleiden, isn’t the implication defending his freedom to violate his conscience?

    Do social conservatives want to defend both freedom of conscience and violation of conscience?

    This assumes that Daleiden violated his conscience at least with respect to the 9th (his 8th) commandment.

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  35. Ahem, in that it is – of course – all about thee and not me, the problem is with the original assumptions in the original post.

    To wit:
    The only reason the laws were “changed” was to bring Indiana’s law into agreement with other states as per the Clinton era legislation which Bill signed off on. The RFPA or whatever it was, was not a new draconian crackdown; it was merely bringing Indiana up to date with everybody else.
    Evidently not fast enough.
    And Pence et al cut and ran like a whipped and beaten cur.

    As for our California correspondent (Misty Irons?)
    Christians do no necessarily sin when they sign gay marriage certificates?
    We never knew. How about euthanasia? Bestiality? Incest and on and on?

    As for the real question (imo), what is the breaking point?
    It’s when we are required to sin. And that includes approving sin.
    It’s one thing when the magistrate allows something; quite another when it is required across the board. That is what is going on now regardless if few on the board seem to understand it.

    Of course, after a couple sessions of friendly waterboarding, that will change for the better.

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  36. DG I don’t get your drift.
    DD’s conscience is clear.
    (Hey, as a romanist, it’s easy.)
    If you are saying conscience is king, we demur.
    IOW I am with Hobby Lobby/Lil Sister of Charity, DD no.

    PP deserves to get their chops busted for profiting on cannibalizing baby parts, but the barbaric practice of abortion has been legal for some time now. Most of us know what it is i.e. we don’t need any pictures.
    Besides I have talked to enough pro choicers to know that they know that it is a human life.
    In their world though, convenience/the mother’s life/ the sexual revolution is top dog.

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  37. On Rahab–

    I didn’t see that anyone had pulled these quotes, so:

    Many Christians, like Augustine and Calvin, have condemned Rahab’s deception: Her lie, even though told “for a good purpose,” Calvin says, is “contrary to the nature of God.”

    Similarly, Augustine praised the midwives and Rahab for “the benignity of their intention” but condemned them for “the iniquity of their invention.” Their point: It is necessary to condemn this and every deception because God is Truth.

    Other Christians, however, have been less ready to condemn Rahab’s lie—or all other lies. Luther defended “a good hearty lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian Church, a lie in case of necessity, a useful lie.” Such lies, he said, “would not be against God.”

    Augustine in the sections I quoted earlier seems to me quite clear that even lying to protect someone from unjust persecution is unacceptable.

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  38. D. G. Hart
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, “Darryl Hart and his “radical” Two Kingdoms ilk seem prepared to sit the religious freedom battle out as well.”

    Please tell us how you are standing in this great battle. Nothing even at New Reform Club.

    So you are going to sit this one out too? Some of us are hoping to shame you into risking offending your liberal pals and the academic elite, and start shooting at the real bad guys, not the good guys.

    Or at least do a better job of defending your questionable theology.

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  39. Jed-

    The only reason why baking a cake for a wedding would be seen as a blessing of the union is if the baker thinks it is

    It is the baker’s work put to an intrinsically evil and socially harmful purpose- to mix one’s work with such an activity is (arguably?) scandalous. It’s not an essential service.

    Tom- Good observation on the photographer’s role.

    Bob S- As for the real question (imo), what is the breaking point?
    It’s when we are required to sin. And that includes approving sin.

    If we end up cellmates, Bob, I pity the guys next door.

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  40. Bob, my point with the mormon polygamist example was that the freedom of religious exercise is not protected in all cases merely because someone says to do or not do something violates my religious conscience. If you can’t bake a gay cake without violating your conscience, don’t hang the shingle. Commerce is regulated.

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  41. sean
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink
    Bob, my point with the mormon polygamist example was that the freedom of religious exercise is not protected in all cases merely because someone says to do or not do something violates my religious conscience. If you can’t bake a gay cake without violating your conscience, don’t hang the shingle. Commerce is regulated.

    That’s more than ‘regulation,’ it’s hijacking commerce for social justice warfare.

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  42. TVD, take it up with your legislature. But be careful of dehumanizing the ‘other side’ and be doubly careful of enthroning an individuals conscience, religious or otherwise, as the law of the land.

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  43. sean
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
    TVD, take it up with your legislature. But be careful of dehumanizing the ‘other side’ and be doubly careful of enthroning an individuals conscience, religious or otherwise, as the law of the land.

    Not an “enthroning,” a constitutional right explicitly put in the Constitution’s Amendment #1 [I suppose we must repeat]

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    John Kasich was quite right the other night about the Supreme Court decision. Gay marriage is the law of the land–the controversy on whether homosexual sex acts should be made an American institution is moot: there will be no reversal.

    The only question now is whether American Christians [and Muslims? 😉 ] will have the guts to stand up for their natural right to religious conscience, and decline to give their assent to the Supreme Court’s fiction that two people of the same sex can make a marriage.

    The occasional Democrat like law prof Jonathan Turley will give honest but faint protest in defense of religious freedom, but like the Calvinists of yore, religious freedom will have to be demanded, and fought for. As John Witherspoon, a founder of the Presbyterian church in America argued, religious and political freedom are intertwined, that the latter cannot exist without the former.

    I don’t know if that’s in Dr. Calvinism: A History’s book. Doesn’t look like it, Darryl. Pls advise.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=KJbIAxqVa_8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=hart+%22Calvinism:+A+history%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMItJmztP6fxwIVT5eICh2ZwwnQ#v=onepage&q=witherspoon&f=false

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  44. Sean-

    Bob, my point with the mormon polygamist example was that the freedom of religious exercise is not protected in all cases merely because someone says to do or not do something violates my religious conscience.

    There is no way the courts can make just rulings in this area without ackowledging theological truths.

    You can’t invent a religion to discrimanate against Virgin Islanders or people with green eyes.

    Further, not every large body warrants respect for claimed conscience- an ethnic Mexican whose family has lived in Utah for 2 centuries told me in Miami that his Mormon neighbors even today didn’t let their children play with his, were vocally impressed when his boss invited him to a party, etc. Perhaps shouldn’t be surprising since they recently celebrated a century of ackowledging that Africans have souls too.

    If you can’t bake a gay cake without violating your conscience, don’t hang the shingle. Commerce is regulated.

    I think this is completely wrong. We have a God-given right to engage in conversation and exchange with others, including commerce. That preceeds unjust government restrictions. No doubt there are lots of exceptions that could be raised, but withdrawing to a cabin in the woods is not the proper solution (unless you’re the kind of guy with a predilection for such things, I guess).

    As SCOTUS is unlikely to consult with the top Vatican legal bodies (e.g., that headed by Burke ’til recently), it will be ‘interesting’ to see how this develops.

    I’m still trying to figure out how you skirt the law in regards to discriminatory practices while being licensed to carry on commerce in subject to those laws. What would happen if I stop renting housing to homosexual couples, RC couples, out of wedlock couples, Jewish couples, African-American couples, etc. all in the name of the sanctity of my religious conscience? I’d rightly get sued out of business.

    You’ve created an intentionally assorted group- the only way they could be seen as similar is from a fundamentally subjectivist perspective.

    And it doesn’t take a license to rent property (yet). Theoretically, I suppose a state require affirmative action of landlords.

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  45. @tvd what do you make of Scalia’s opinion in the Smith case? He seems to have quite a different take than you on the extent to which the first amendment right to free exercise covers religious activity incidentally banned by laws of general applicability.

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  46. @Jeff Good point. I think Kevin’s references to Augustine and Calvin are helpful here – she was clearly acting in faith – I don’t think that means all she did was good and worthy of being emulated. Whether it is OK to lie to save a life is a tough one for me. But that is all theoretical. My struggle with the ninth commandment has never been anything that noble.

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  47. Kevin, Fair Housing has outlawed discriminatory practices. Here are the exemptions;

    Property Exempt from Federal Antidiscrimination Laws
    Unfortunately, not every rental is covered by the federal fair housing laws. The following types of property are exempt:

    owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units

    single-family housing rented without the use of advertising or without a real estate broker, as long as the landlord owns no more than three such homes at any one time

    certain types of housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to their own members, and

    with respect to age discrimination only, housing reserved exclusively for senior citizens. There are two kinds of senior citizen housing exempted: communities where every tenant is 62 years of age or older, or “55 and older” communities in which at least 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years or older. 

    Fortunately for some tenants, however, many state fair housing laws cover properties or situations that are exempt under federal law. For example, owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units are exempt under federal law but are protected under California law.

    You thinking something is completely wrong is not of ultimate or penultimate consequence in a setup where the government has divine charter.-There’s the theology part, btw. Just in case you were tempted to miss it.

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  48. Kevin,

    It is the baker’s work put to an intrinsically evil and socially harmful purpose- to mix one’s work with such an activity is (arguably?) scandalous. It’s not an essential service.

    Then we need to curtail all kinds of commerce if we are going to be consistent don’t we? Booze? Check. Baseball Bats? Check. Knives? Check. If the purveyor is responsible for the actions of the end-user, we have all kinds of problems. This is a weak argument, and discriminatory at its basis, meant to exclude one specific kind of sinner. If we were in a theocracy or some sort of dictatorial government that would fly, but not in a liberal democracy. Baking a cake for a gay wedding is not an endorsement of the marraige. Christian bakeries would have a lot more moral high ground if they had prior precedent in refusing to bake wedding cakes for unscanctioned second (or thereafter) marriages or marriages where believers are unequally yoked with unbelievers or any other unbiblical union. But to my knowledge this has not been the case, which makes singling out this particular sin seem to be supremely hypocritical.

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  49. sdb
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink
    @tvd what do you make of Scalia’s opinion in the Smith case? He seems to have quite a different take than you on the extent to which the first amendment right to free exercise covers religious activity incidentally banned by laws of general applicability.

    If it’s OK, I decline to be put on the spot over chapter and verse per Scalia’s decisions. Unlike the 4 liberals on the court–and let’s include Anthony Kennedy’s intellectually indefensible gay marriage opinion–Scalia has a judicial philosophy.

    He thought gay marriage should be decided democratically, via the legislatures, not by some abstract twisting of the 14th Amendment, which was designed to make black people equal, not to make all sexualities equal–which they’re not, despite whatever fictions the law creates.

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  50. I will say, to qualify my stance that there should be no discrimination allowed in commerce, that gays who target Christian and conservative bakeries and photographers just to prove a point are guilty of being onerous jerks and shame on them. These folks are in the minority and should be singled out for public derision just like anyone on the right is for bigoted behavior. But, a law abiding gay couple in the United States shouldn’t have to deal with the indignity of going to procure the services of a photographer or a baker only to be told “We don’t serve your kind here.”

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  51. Sean –

    You thinking something is completely wrong is not of ultimate or penultimate consequence in a setup where the government has divine charter.-There’s the theology part, btw. Just in case you were tempted to miss it.

    I take it that strictly, governments do not create law, they implement regulations or make rulings in observance of it (or contrary to it).

    There are pre-political relations amongst members of a society which precede regulations, whose sole purpose is to allow those relations to be as free of interference as possible given the needs and obligations of other segments of society.

    Evaluating cases of ‘religious freedom’ will require a determination as to what counts as religion. Other countries have looked to specific religious bodies to assist in evaluating questions of theology. Ours is not likely to, given the theological and ecclesiastical confusion of the US. So we’re left with the list you created and similar.

    As a result, the courts, legislatures, and executives (via orders) have an impossible task before them, the outcome of which is likely to be unjust regulation- i.e. violation of natural law.

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  52. Jed –

    [kc:] It is the baker’s work put to an intrinsically evil and socially harmful purpose- to mix one’s work with such an activity is (arguably?) scandalous. It’s not an essential service.

    [Jed:] Then we need to curtail all kinds of commerce if we are going to be consistent don’t we? Booze? Check. Baseball Bats? Check. Knives? Check. If the purveyor is responsible for the actions of the end-user, we have all kinds of problems. This is a weak argument,

    There are cases in which purveyors are very much responsible for the actions of end-users.

    Let’s say I own a hardware store and am aware that one of my clients, a construction company, is putting up a new apartment building. I observe the construction, and realize they are purchasing unsuitable materials from me – materials that will result in a not-entirely-safe (below code, if you like) building being constructed. I can react in a few ways, but the point is if I am aware of it, I have some level of responsibility in the outcome.

    and discriminatory at its basis, meant to exclude one specific kind of sinner.

    I think it would hold for a particulalry conscientious videographer being asked to film divorcees remarrying (imagine a smaller community in which people know each other, not anonymous suburbia).

    If we were in a theocracy or some sort of dictatorial government that would fly, but not in a liberal democracy.

    Moral theology regarding sexuality and scandal is independent of the form of government- my claims would not be affected were I in Israel.

    Baking a cake for a gay wedding is not an endorsement of the marraige.

    Perhaps or perhaps not, but others would have some warrant for taking it as an endorsement- there is potential for scandal.

    Christian bakeries would have a lot more moral high ground if they had prior precedent in refusing to bake wedding cakes for unscanctioned second (or thereafter) marriages or marriages where believers are unequally yoked with unbelievers or any other unbiblical union. But to my knowledge this has not been the case, which makes singling out this particular sin seem to be supremely hypocritical.

    It’s more obvious. I agree we should be much stricter here, although your standards and mine will likely diverge.

    a law abiding gay couple in the United States shouldn’t have to deal with the indignity of going to procure the services of a photographer or a baker only to be told “We don’t serve your kind here.”

    Ok, how about a singer or organist? It can be stressful enough trying to get everything right without the additional of pressure of dealing with a sacrilegious ceremony and questions of personal culpability.

    Organists could refuse to do weddings – but that’s where much of the work is, and trying to get out of an ssm engagement could lead to a lawsuit.

    Just because organists are used to pipes doesn’t mean they can switch careers and become plumbers.

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  53. Darryl,

    Robert, I’ll put it this way, if we worry about the consciences of the bakers, why aren’t we also worried about Daleiden’s?

    I’m not sure I understand the question. If what Daleiden did was morally permissible, then his conscience should be clear.

    These are some extraordinarily difficult matters. And there’s always the danger of the slippery slope. If Dailden was right to lie, where does it stop. Can I lie about my religious faith if I know that revealing it will bring about my death or the death of a loved one? My gut feeling is no, and I have lots in Scripture and Christian history to back me up. The CMP case is admittedly more difficult because they were going in and not simply being forced to make a decision on the spot like Christians hiding Jews from the Nazis were.

    Like I said, I think CMP are in the right, but it is difficult.

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  54. Sean,

    My point with the mormon polygamist example was that the freedom of religious exercise is not protected in all cases merely because someone says to do or not do something violates my religious conscience.

    That is true, but here is where I think 2K has some significant weaknesses or questions to deal with. If there is not a significant agreement on religious/ethical matters among the population, and there certainly isn’t anymore, how does the law decide what we can do and what we can’t do in the name of religious conscience. Appealing to natural law is all fine and dandy, but that is a religious commitment, and least in some significant ways. Now that people don’t agree that natural law even exists, SCOTUS is just making it up as they go along. What does 2K say is the answer? Preach the gospel and don’t worry at all about cultural transformation? I agree to a point, but if the culture is not transformed at least to the point that the majority believes in natural law, we end up with the tyranny of whoever is in power at the time.

    I don’t know if I have the answer from more of a non-2K view, but how does a secular state that denies natural law rule with equity and in what possible way can we effectively call it to account without the church at the very least promoting the existence of natural law in the wider culture?

    If you can’t bake a gay cake without violating your conscience, don’t hang the shingle. Commerce is regulated.

    I’m sympathetic to this to a point, but the bakers and florists in question went into business long before the law changed. They had no reason to believe they’d ever be forced to violate their conscience in this way. Why do they now lose all their rights?

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  55. Robert: I’m not sure I understand the question. If what Daleiden did was morally permissible, then his conscience should be clear.

    This site is run by a Reformed officer and those of us here as part of this faith don’t see that someone forgiving himself and wiping his conscience means a hill of beans in the matter of living righteously before God and His commandments.

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  56. Robert: If there is not a significant agreement on religious/ethical matters among the population, and there certainly isn’t anymore, how does the law decide what we can do and what we can’t do in the name of religious conscience.

    I can think of 20 major issues for the US that I have watched over the last 4 decades that might help give you a practical guideline. Each having its own set of value and righteousness and adaptations.

    Those of us here in the 2K camp realize there are weaknesses inherent, just like every other system. We at least try to understand the others first before making practical suggestions along with pointing fingers. But it doesn’t work…

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  57. @tvd fair enough.
    My reading of Scalia’s opinion in the Smith case indicates tha, laws of general applicability that happen to proscribe certain religious activities do not violate the first amendment (hence the need for the RFRA). That would mean that a law by the legislature forbidding discrimination against gays and lesbians in commercial transactions would apply to a baker regardless of her religious convictions about ssm.

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  58. Am I wrong for thinking that 2K thinking must lead to fatalism within the one kingdom and the other is never really touched therefore why mess around with the kingdom that’s going to hell anyway? I wonder how this is much better than Left Behind theology that says quit your job and burn tires in your backyard and who cares about things that won’t ever get any better since the end is near. I was under the impression that social norms that reflect Godly morality actually serve a purpose in the life of believers and unbelievers are worthwhile since they make it easier to live a Godly life and to live in peace. How is it that pagan, Satanic, murderers are as deserving of the truth as anyone else? Might as well love Satan since we should love everyone. This is not the same as denying Christ refusing to worship an Emperor since one is a public disavowal of Christ for the sake of your own skin and this man had nothing to lose except maybe a few nights in jail. This sort of thinking would mean a spy inside Al Queda who stopped a terrorist bombing should have thought twice since he would be sinning – really he should have thought of himself interfering with the plan of God since God ordained the terrorist bombing. How far does this go, no evangelism?

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  59. Matt, it’s a long tradition of reflection that does not equate the advancement of God’s kingdom (the kingdom of grace) with any single kingdom or democracy of this world. You see it in the OT, Paul, Jesus, Augustine.

    Why is that so threatening?

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  60. Kent,

    This site is run by a Reformed officer and those of us here as part of this faith don’t see that someone forgiving himself and wiping his conscience means a hill of beans in the matter of living righteously before God and His commandments.

    1. Whoa, calm down buddy.
    2. I’m Reformed too.
    3. It is by no means clear that CMP has broken a commandment here, unless you take the position that lying is absolutely never acceptable for Christians, which has always been a debated ethical question.
    4. My simple point is that if CMP has done nothing wrong, the people involved should have a clear conscience. If they have, then yeah, everything you said.

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  61. I don’t know if I have the answer from more of a non-2K view, but how does a secular state that denies natural law rule with equity and in what possible way can we effectively call it to account without the church at the very least promoting the existence of natural law in the wider culture?

    Robert, if the NT doesn’t ask these questions then why do we think we have to, much less answer them? The NT is written in a socio-political context that modern sensibilities shudder at, and yet no imperatives to the church to call that context into account, only to live obediently and quietly. In fact, by the terms you set our context is still way more ahead than the NT’s. If the NT’s context is further behind and is completely uninterested in solving these questions, what makes a context that’s further ahead think it needs to? Left over Constantinianism.

    I’m sympathetic to this to a point, but the bakers and florists in question went into business long before the law changed. They had no reason to believe they’d ever be forced to violate their conscience in this way. Why do they now lose all their rights?

    Because that’s how the system works. If you’re going serve the public, do your homework. It’s a little like whining on behalf of public figures who get personally critiqued. If comes with the territory; if you don’t like it, go back to private life where the rest of us who don’t care for it exist.

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  62. Zrim,

    Robert, if the NT doesn’t ask these questions then why do we think we have to, much less answer them? The NT is written in a socio-political context that modern sensibilities shudder at, and yet no imperatives to the church to call that context into account, only to live obediently and quietly. In fact, by the terms you set our context is still way more ahead than the NT’s. If the NT’s context is further behind and is completely uninterested in solving these questions, what makes a context that’s further ahead think it needs to? Left over Constantinianism.

    Wait, am I mistaken that one of the main points of 2K is that the government is to rule by natural law? So do we throw up our hands and say nothing when no one believes in natural law.

    As for living obediently and quietly, sure. But Paul didn’t see that as conflicting with his political rights or preaching the gospel to THE representative of the state in his day, namely, Caesar.

    Because that’s how the system works. If you’re going serve the public, do your homework. It’s a little like whining on behalf of public figures who get personally critiqued. If comes with the territory; if you don’t like it, go back to private life where the rest of us who don’t care for it exist.

    There’s a difference between living quietly and passive resignation. “Oh well, the rules of the system has changed. Guess I have to close up my shop and starve my family.”

    Obviously I’m being snarky, but where in the world does the idea that business owners give up all of their rights when they open up shop come from? Full disclosure—I tend to be libertarian on these matters and would generally support the rights of any private business to refuse service for whatever reasons it wants, regardless if they are coherent or not.

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  63. Robert: If they have, then yeah, everything you said.

    Stick around a week and you’ll find that there are at most 3 people on here “from that other side” who are even remotely worth talking with…. for various reasons….

    Read this now, believe it later…

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  64. Robert: 3. It is by no means clear that CMP has broken a commandment here, unless you take the position that lying is absolutely never acceptable for Christians, which has always been a debated ethical question.

    Going out of one’s way 100% voluntarily to lie is not a good thing. I can’t do that at my job, any evidence or info collected from deception is punted out of court in a picosecond.

    If you are walking down the street and you find a gun pointed at your head and you are told to go to an ATM machine and talk out all your money RIGHT NOW, then I wouldn’t blame you for getting out of this without giving over all your money.

    All fruit of a poisoned tree is tainted, if someone lied to get info, I believe he’d lie like a mother in putting together a film or tape of the interview in order to back up the point he was bound to concoct in the first place

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  65. Umm…. did I miss this big conference where all us 2K folk got together for what must have taken 20 years or so in order to ratify our inflexible actions for every conceivable situation?

    Seems all our enemies have been sent an email listing what we had better believe and defend under any possible situation, while pretending they don’t have issues…. oh sure you don’t……… : /

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  66. Kent,

    Going out of one’s way 100% voluntarily to lie is not a good thing.

    Generally, yes. But there are circumstances in which it is a good thing. Police undercover investigations, journalist investigations, etc.

    All fruit of a poisoned tree is tainted, if someone lied to get info, I believe he’d lie like a mother in putting together a film or tape of the interview in order to back up the point he was bound to concoct in the first place.

    Possibly. But the footage in its entirety has been posted.

    And again, does this mean we can’t trust undercover police work? There are plenty of very heinous criminals who are caught because the police practiced some deception. CMP isn’t the police, but if no one else is talking about a significant crime and horrorshow, do we just throw up our hands?

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  67. Robert, the police are one thing. A mudsucking journalist is the other

    I understand you fully, you are hell-bent knee-jerk come hell or high water going to defend ANYTHING done to support a side you like.

    It is one kind of way to live one’s life… just sayin…

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  68. DGH: Zrim, you mean the NFL plays on Sundays!?!

    As long as watching it and taping it doesn’t interfere with your ability to go to services….

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  69. Bogus parallels. Only the Church if Skinny Jeans would someone think it a ‘sin’ to refuse to bake a cake for someone. It may not be nice, but so what — either is calling a crowd a brood of vipers. And while it may be a sin to lie to expose Planned Parenthood, I think the Maji came close
    to deceiving Herod….
    Seriously, there is no seamless garment when it comes to the Abortion Industry. It ist hurting a bunch of gays feints by sending the sign they aren’t OK. It is slaughtering millions of human beings. So apologies to St Thomas More, but I think play acting a vendor to out the killers is not a lie but a trick, one you’d find in an Old Testament story. Of course the D Teataament was hardly nice either.

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  70. Joe M., was Thomas More as portrayed in A Man for All Seasons so cavalier about personal integrity?

    You don’t see how this might come back to bite bishops who covered up for wayward priests?

    I’m not saying PP doesn’t have it coming. I am concerned that Christians can turn a blind eye to the problems of lying. Is it for the sake of saving lives? Or is it to reclaim the high horse of victimhood after Obergefell (for starters)?

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  71. Robert, maintaining that natural law should govern natural life is one thing, trying to foist the theory onto the rest of the world is quite another.

    Paul preaching to a man is one thing (and taking advantage of certain bestowed rights), Paul trying to get another man to rule in a particular way is quite another. When did Paul ever do the latter? You seem to be suggesting that just because Paul preached to a pol that he had some crypto-Constantinian ideas.

    Give up “all of their rights”? You’re overstating the matter. Nobody has to close anything down. They must serve the public according to the law, and if that means the Catholic pharmacist must dispense birth control then that’s what he has to do. Same for bakers and photogs. If it’s such a violation of their conscience that they’d rather quit altogether than swallow a jagged little pill sometimes, then THEY put themselves out of work. It’s the difference between a libertarian and communitarian-conservative outlook perhaps.

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  72. DG,

    There’s nothing threatening about 2k theology, and I definitely see it as a logical progression from Total Depravity which I believe in, but instead of trusting our works to the sovereignty of God it would mean any of our works – and specifically I would include works that are to shut the mouths of unbelievers which must necessarily include a social aspect or works that would ensure or encourage the peacefullness which we are told to pray for – again, it would mean such endeavors if they had any culture/political element would be like saying get out of God’s ways you 1K person. Is 2K the same as Hyper Calvinism?

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  73. @ Matt:

    The point has more to do with jurisdictions than with allowed activities. I would say to a Christian activist, Be a Christian, be an activist (if indeed that is your secular calling), just don’t baptize your activism as “Christian activism.”

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  74. Matt, are you saying that if you don’t believe in transformationalism you are a Hyper Calvinist? There are other options. James Davison Hunter is not a 2ker directly and he doesn’t think Christians are going to change the world.

    Most people think that what matters is the ideological direction of one’s politics. Are you conservative? Are you liberal? These differences occupy most of our attention and argument. What is never challenged is the proclivity to think of the Christian faith and its engagement with the culture around it in political terms. This proclivity today has been both ubiquitous and unquestioned for a long time…For all, the public has been conflated with the political…As contradictory as the intentions and directions of various actors may be, in the end, the Christian Right and Left and the neo-Anabaptists operate with an understanding of the good society through the prism of politics. But this begs the question, “so what?” Why is this a problem?

    …there are no political solutions to the problems most people care about. Politics can provide a platform for dissent and procedures for establishing public order and, as just noted, the state can address administrative problems. This is what it is designed to accomplish, but this only happens through accommodation, compromise, and conciliation…What the state cannot do is provide fully satisfying solutions to the problem of values in our society. There are no comprehensive political solutions to the deterioration of “family values,” the desire for equity, or the challenge of achieving consensus and solidarity in a cultural context of fragmentation and polarization. There are no real political solutions to the absence of decency or the spread of vulgarity. But because the state is a clumsy instrument and finally rooted in coercion, it will always fail to adequately or directly address the human elements of these problems; the elements that make them poignant in the first place. As a rule, when the state does become involved in such matters, its actions can often create more problems through unintended consequences, not fewer.

    At best, the state’s role addressing human problems is partial and limited. It is not nearly as influential as the expectations most people have of it. It is true that laws are not neutral. They do reflect values. But laws cannot generate values, or instill values, or settle the conflict over values. The belief that the state could help us care more for the poor and the elderly, slow the disintegration of traditional values, generate respect amongst different groups, or create civic pride, is mostly illusory. It imputes far too much capacity to the state and to the political process.

    Values cannot be achieved politically because politics is invariably about power—not only power, but finally about power…Today, most of the ideals and values that are discussed in public have acquired political content and connotation. Fairness? Equity? Justice? Liberty? These have come to have little or no meaning outside of the realm of politics…The irony, of course, is that no group in American society has done more to politicize values over the last half century, and therefore undermine their renewal, than Christians—both on the Right (since the early 1980s) and on the Left (during the 1960s and 1970s).”

    James Davison Hunter, To Change the World (pgs. 168-172)

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  75. Jeff Cagle
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink
    @ Matt:

    The point has more to do with jurisdictions than with allowed activities. I would say to a Christian activist, Be a Christian, be an activist (if indeed that is your secular calling), just don’t baptize your activism as “Christian activism.”

    I’m a conservative but I have no problem with what used to be called “Christian charity,” which changed the world. Dig this: It wasn’t Constantinism that conquered Greco-Roman paganism, it was Christianity itself!

    http://www.alanknox.net/2011/01/the-christians-support-not-only-their-own-poor-but-ours-as-well/

    What a lot of people may not know is that the Roman emperors following Constantine fluctuated between Christianity (of differing forms) and paganism. Julian was one of those who wanted the empire to return to the pagan religions of Rome’s past and thus remove the curses of the gods and return to their favor.

    “Why do we not observe that it is their [the Christians’] benevolence to strangers, their care for the graves of the dead, and the pretended holiness of their lives that have done most to increase atheism [unbelief of the pagan gods]?… For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galileans [Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us. Teach those of the Hellenic faith to contribute to public service of this sort…”

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  76. You thinking something is completely wrong is not of ultimate or penultimate consequence in a setup where the government has divine charter.-There’s the theology part, btw. Just in case you were tempted to miss it.

    sean, govt. doesn’t have the divine charter. Rom. 13 is not carte blanche. We obey up till a point but when we got to call black white, because the govt. says so, then we suffer the consequences.
    These folks are no more married than Peter Pan and Mickey Mouse are.

    Of course saying and acting upon that is liable to get you into trouble.
    Which is exactly what nobody wants to have happen.
    But it’s going to get worse before it gets better if that’s our attitude.

    Baking a cake for a gay wedding is not an endorsement of the marraige. Christian bakeries would have a lot more moral high ground if they had prior precedent in refusing to bake wedding cakes for unscanctioned second (or thereafter) marriages or marriages where believers are unequally yoked with unbelievers or any other unbiblical union. But to my knowledge this has not been the case, which makes singling out this particular sin seem to be supremely hypocritical.

    Jed, when heterosexual clients walk in it’s called charity/benefit of the doubt. If I don’t know specifically that there’s problems with that particular marriage, they get served. I am not required to know anything.
    But apples and road apples, not quite. Right off the get go it’s in your face. A blatant violation of the natural law.
    Same as if a kook wants a wedding cake for him and his goldfish.
    Right, pal. Do you want me to call for the guys in the white coats?

    But, a law abiding gay couple in the United States shouldn’t have to deal with the indignity of going to procure the services of a photographer or a baker only to be told “We don’t serve your kind here.”

    Get serious. Really? That’s ridiculous. And it doesn’t happen like that anyway.

    Whatever. This guy is not a believer and he’s talking about communism and PC. It still works.

    When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. Dr. T. Dalyrymple interviewed at Frontpage

    For the morally obtuse, Obergefell is a lie. Yes, it is legal; yes it is the law, but that’s not the question. It’s wrong. It’s evil.

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  77. DG,

    All I mean is that if you take Total Depravity/2K too far we might as well pray with James and John to reign down fire from heaven and then we rightfully damn not PP but the Rahab spy in PP since he should’ve had his nose out of the wrong kingdom and instead should have been next door singing Psalms. So I don’t know that everyone who is not a transformationalist is a hyper-Calvinist, but they would surely be much more likely to be. Instead of saying, “lets fart around since the end is any minute”, we say, “lets fart around since the end is pretty much always with us.”

    I don’t think one would need to ditch TD to assert that there is common grace in government which supports and does not oppose Christian morality and that discourages or outlaws sins that actually benefits believers and may be used as a means of grace leading to the salvation of other individuals – who knows – and that such common grace should be defended by Christians as much as possible instead of assuming that God is just judging us some more by having us withdraw much like the Benedictine option so criticized here.

    It seems to me that I am criticizing hyper Calvinism. I don’t think any theocracy will provide a utopia until Jesus appears, but I do think that infiltrating the enemy PP so that an evil may be outlawed or dissuaded should not be looked at like, “oops we’re mixing up our kingdoms here.”

    And I do like you by the way DG. I think you’ve made me a High Church Presbyterian, but I’m a newbie.

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  78. D. G. Hart
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink
    vd, t, no wonder you like Barton.

    D. G. Hart
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 6:18 am | Permalink
    vd, t, you mean the magisterium didn’t change the world? Amazing!

    I didn’t say that. Actually, Dr. Hart, you’ve become rather the David Barton of anti-Catholicism. Every word is a lie, including “and” and “but.”

    Christianity–and this means the Catholic Church until the 1500s, certainly did change the world for the better.

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  79. D. G. Hart
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
    vd, t, would that change include forcing Jews and Muslims out of the Iberian peninsula?

    Arguing the exceptions against the rule, as always.

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  80. Returns on Daleiden’s deceit are still not in:

    Catholics need to be careful with double effect when talking about lying. Lying is directly analogous to murder in these cases. When someone attacks you, this does not give you the right to try to kill them: that is murder, although under the circumstances much more excusable than murdering on a plan. You can see this quite clearly if you think about a scenario in which we find A and B, who are enemies. In this scenario, A is strolling along and suddenly is attacked by B; A suddenly realizes that now is his chance to destroy B once and for all, and he kills him. That is murder, plain and simple; the fact that B attacked A may make it harder to show that it was murder in a court of law, and it might, depending on the situation, make A’s murder of B less serious than murdering on a plan; but defending yourself does not give a license for murderous intent, nor does it make intent that would be murderous suddenly non-murderous.
    If you are attacked, however, it is entirely just to defend yourself from attack. In a life-or-death situation, the attack may well lead to killing your attacker. But the whole point of double effect is that for this to be just, you have to be out to defend yourself, not using the attack as an excuse to destroy your attacker.

    The effect in cases of lying and deception, of course, is that the person in question is deceived; being deceived is the aspect of the case that directly corresponds to being killed in the self-defense case. It is not necessarily wrong to act in such a way that the other person is deceived; situations in which the other person is acting unjustly may indeed provide some fairly clear cases, although they do not do so automatically. But this is not a license to speak falsely with the intent to deceive. You must still be truthful; it’s just that, as in the self-defense case, in which you have been, through another’s injustice, placed in a paradoxical situation in which the effect is not one a just person would aim at, despite acting entirely justly, you have been placed in a situation in which being truthful happens to result in another’s being deceived.

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