Christian Persecution. The Left is forcing Christians to bow to their ideals in violation of religious freedoms. Â Many cases are discussed such as the florist and bakery cases and double standards are explored. Professor Dr. Mark Hall was an expert witness at one of the cases in Washington State.
Air Date: 1/2/2017
Guests:Â Dr. Mark David Hall, Professor of Politics at George Fox University
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Religious Accommodations and the Common Good
- George Fox University
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Â However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Â Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture.
This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re discussing today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and culture all from a Biblical, historical, and Â constitutional perspective. Â When you get it from those three angles put together and you’re going to get the right answer to any issue.
Your hosts are David Barton, America’s premier historian our founder and president here at WallBuilders, also best selling author in Warner Times magazine top 25 most influential Â American evangelicals. We also have Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor. Â And my name is Rick Green, former Texas state representative, author, and a speaker. Â You can find out more about our organization at WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. Â We”re a national pro-family organization where we present America’s forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis on our religious, moral, and constitutional heritage.
Religious Freedom Violated
David, Tim, that intersection of faith and the culture definitely has had a lot to do with even the business side of things. Â Not just churches but in business, sometimes your faith and the culture have not only an intersection with sometimes a collision which we’re seeing with a lot of bakers, florist, Â photographers, and a lot of things since the homosexual agenda has been not just to have freedom but to force people to participate with them. And today we’re going to talk about one of those cases.
Well, these are not new cases in history but they are new cases in American history. These are cases that come as a result, as you said, of the LGBT agenda. Â And that very simply is an agenda that is completely opposite to Biblical standards of sexual morality. What God defines as acceptable sexual behavior. These guys are on the other side of that.
And so in this present presidential administration for the last eight years, this president has opened the floodgates. Â And used the power of the Justice Department, the courts, of agencies, and the power of regulatory bureaucracies to move forward a very strong anti-Biblical morality position. Â And to penalize those who hold such positions.
Living A Biblical Lifestyle Will Get You In Court
And so in the same way that he unilaterally issues an order that says, “Anybody that gets federal funds and education, you’re going to only have one bathroom and one locker room. We’re not going to distinguish between genders anymore. Â We”ll be whatever we want to be.”
I mean, that kind of sweeping stuff has been going on for a while and it has showed up. Â And really the prosecution and the persecution of Christians who want to live out their faith with the same values that Christians have been living with for 5,500 years of Biblical history.
So now, suddenly in America, to live a Biblical faith lifestyle will get you in court. Â As it has in so many cases. Â In the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein in Oregon, they get fined $144,000 dollars. Because they said, “According to the Bible, I can’t be personally involved in a homosexual wedding. God has said, “Man and woman, marriage. That’s it.” He has said that homosexuality is wrong. I can’t be involved with something he says is wrong.””
Not Discriminating Against The People, Just The Event
Even though they were personally serving cakes to homosexual individuals. Â So that they are not discriminating. Because one of the arguments is, “Well you’re being so hateful and you’re discriminating.” And all these negative pejoratives that are thrown against them.
Well, actually no. Â They were very gracious. They served and they baked and they did. Â And they actually tried to find replacements when they felt convicted that they couldn’t do it. And yet in the midst of this, that wasn’t acceptable. Â Because the idea was you have to cower to our desires. Â You have to bow to the whims of what we want or we are going to punish you.
Participation Is Now Being Forced
And the key word there is participate. It’s not that they weren’t selling these wares to other folks, to homosexuals. Â They said they did not want to participate in the activities the homosexuals wanted them participate in.
And we do that all the time. We say Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. And the Amish don’t have to participate in 12 years of compulsory education. And Muslims do not have to participate in being clean shaven and Jews don’t have to participate in working on Sunday. I mean, they can work on Sunday, not work on Saturday.
Double Standard, War On Christianity
We allow that all the time. Â Except suddenly for Christians on sexual morality. And so the Kleins get nailed in Oregon. Â And in Colorado, Jack Phillips is facing jail time because he does not want to participate in a homosexual wedding. Elaine *** gets fined $10000 in New Mexico because she does not want to participate, not serve, but participate. So participation is now being forced.
And one of the cases where this participation was being forced was in in Washington State. Â In Washington State, you have Barronelle Stutzman. Â She is I think, about 70 years old, has been a florist for decades and does a great job of selling flowers to whoever wants them but did not want to personally participate in a homosexual wedding that went against her Christian convictions.
It’s only been in the last 8 years that these cases have come up and that the prosecution has gone after persecuting Christians for not participating in activities that Christians deem to be a sin and a violation of God’s laws. And so as these cases are still working their way through the process, working their way through the system, the case of Barronelle Stutzman in Washington, has just come up before the Supreme Court of Washington. This has now been going for a while. The guys is on our side, Christian attorneys, have been defending her with great acumen, great skill, and great ability.
The Left: Â No Matter What The Law Says, You Will Bow To What We Want
But they’re facing a mentality. They’re facing a worldview that says, “We don’t care what the law says. You’re going to bow at what we want.” And so, it’s a real conflict.
One of our good friends, Professor Mark David Hall out of George Fox University in Oregon, was actually an expert witness in this thing because he teaches constitutional law. Â But he also teaches constitutional history and has a great perspective on what the law is supposed to do. And he was all prepared to testify at the court there in Washington. And so he’s got an update for us on what happened with this case in the hearing they just had in Washington.
Professor Mark David Hall with us when we return. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Pastors Only Briefing Trip
Hi this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
We get to go to the Capitol at night. Â And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties Â and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington D.C.
If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. Â And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. Â If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor”s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
Mark David Hall
Welcome back. Â Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Â Our friend, Mark David Hall, iis with us from George Fox University, and author of several books. Â We could do a whole list of them on our website. But the last one we had him on was his book on Roger Sherman and the creation of the American Republic. Lots of great books on the Founding Fathers.
Mark, good to have you back, Sir.
Supreme Court Case, Barronelle Stutzman, Washington State
It’s great to be back. Thank you for having me.
You had a chance to actually sit in and on the on the Washington State Supreme Court case dealing with the florist. Â That basically the government came in and said, “You’re going to participate in something that violates your conscience, like it or not.” I can’t remember if the couple that had the place is still in business. Â Are they out of business now? Catch us up on what happened what you saw at the Supreme Court case.
Yes, the facts in this case were just amazing. And I know them pretty well. Â I was going to be an expert witness on behalf of the defendant. So there have been no offences for a florist for something like 35 years. Â And over the past seven years or so she knowingly, willingly served a young man who she knew was in a same sex relationship. So she loved on him. Â She served him. Â She sold him flowers. Â And she made him arrangements.
After Washington legalized same sex marriage, she heard through the grapevine that he was going to ask her to do the flowers for same sex wedding. She went home and prayed about it and Â came back the next day when the young man came in. Â She said, “I’m very sorry but I cannot participate in your wedding ceremony. Â It violates my religious conviction.”
She had taken the time to find a florist who would gladly serve him. She gave him a hug and sent him to the other floor.
In a world of adults, one would hope that would be the end of it right? He’s disappointed. Â And that’s too bad, but he goes and gets his flowers for his wedding and she continues on with her business.
She Didn”t Even Get Her Day In Court
I mean, I’ve been turned down for business because I’m not a Cubs fan. Anyway go ahead, sorry.
It’s amazing. So unfortunately, in the state of Washington, the ACLU got wind of this and so brought civil suit against her. The attorney general of the state which is almost unprecedented, usually these things can be handled by the State Human Rights Commission. But the attorney general of the state decided that this florist cannot be allowed to do this. And so he came down on her like a ton of bricks as did the ACLU.
ADF Appealed Directly to Washington
They lost in a mind boggling decision. She is being represented by some excellent attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom but they lost in the summary judgment that really shouldn’t have happened. Â They should have gone to trial. Â And she didn’t even get her day in court.
And ADF appealed directly to the Washington State Supreme Court which heard the case about two weeks ago and so I had a chance to go up there to listen to oral arguments in this case. And it was just fascinating.
When they lost at the trial court level, how did that affect her and her and her business?
She Is No Longer Doing Weddings
Well, you know, she is an amazing, Godly woman. She recognizes that God is supreme, that God is sovereign. Â And she’s resting in his sovereignty as best as I can tell. I don’t know her personally. And never had a chance to chat personally with her, but she has her faith in God. She is able to continue doing business.
They’ve stopped doing all weddings all together. And so it’s affecting the business in that way. I suspect, I don’t know this, this is speculation. Â But I suspect the Christian community in eastern Washington probably has come around her. So I suspect the business isn’t suffering too much right now. Â But of course, if she ends up losing at the state Supreme Court level, it could have a dramatic impact on her business.
Sweet Cakes Case, Oregon, Driven Out Of Business
And in some of the other states, in Oregon. Of course, we have this Sweet Cakes case. Â In that case, that couple of has been driven out of business.
Now, I think that’s the one I was thinking when I said, “A couple” earlier as well. Â So they were actually bakers?
They were bakers here in Oregon. Yeah.
So with the Supreme Court case, what did you take from the questions of the Washington Supreme Court justices? Any kind of guess as to where you think they are on it?
Yeah. Â Unfortunately, I think the state Supreme Court is sort of a famously liberal court. So the attorneys aren”t very optimistic about their chance winning at that level.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Â It gives him a chance to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, where they have some pretty good arguments to make. If the justices of Washington State were being good justices, Barronelle Stutzman should easily win her case on a number of different grounds.
To begin with, it’s not even clear she’s being accused of violating a law about discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But that’s not necessarily clearly the case that she is. She won”t service a wedding between two heterosexual men who were getting married for the tax benefits. So this certainly isn’t the case. It’s not a factual matter that sexual orientation has anything to do with this case.
An even better argument though, is a religious liberty argument that Washington has an equivalent of the First Amendment which they still interpret with the most rigorous level of scrutiny. Which means that she should win her case unless the state has a compelling interest in forcing this florist to participate in this particular wedding ceremony. Â Even though plenty of other florists are available to do that.
I don’t think by any commonsensical meaning of the words “compelling interest” can we say, “Washington has that compelling interest.” Even more important, this is really the argument that the ADF attorneys are focusing on, is in effect she’s being asked to contribute her artistic talents to a ceremony to which she has profound theological agreements in an expressive capacity. So she’s been forced to express herself in a way that violates a deeply held conviction.
The Supreme Court has long held that the state cannot compel people to say things or do things that they do not approve of. A great case in this respect is the flag salute cases in the 1940s. A lot of states, in order to promote patriotism in time of war, passed ordinances requiring all children in this state to salute and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.
Now most of us, of course, think that’s actually a good thing. At least that people salute the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance. But as you probably know Jehovah’s witnesses refuse to do that. They view it as the equivalent of worshiping Baal.
So these Jehovah’s Witness kids refuse to salute and say pledge allegiance to the American flag. This case went to the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, I want to paraphrase. Â But they said if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that the state cannot force people to express ideas that they disagree with.
So the Jehovah’s Witness kids were excused from this patriotic ceremony. Â In the same way, Barronelle Stutzman should not be forced to express herself in such a way that she finds offensive or theologically problematic.
Freedom To Choose
We usually only think of the protection of the expressions we want to make in terms of our rights of conscience. Â And not so much– because we just don’t see it very often– we don’t think that much about also not being forced to express things we don’t agree with and don’t believe. So it’s not just a protection of “I have a right to worship as I choose or believe as I choose and speak freely. But I should not by the force of government have to get up and express myself in a way that I certainly don’t believe and that would actually violate my conscience.”
You do a whole article on this on Heritage’s website. Â On religious accommodations and the common good and why this is good for us to allow someone to choose not to participate.
That’s exactly right. The Heritage Foundation’s website, it’s called Religious Accommodations and the Common Good. Actually, there’s an earlier version of this was the experts report that I wrote in this case. And one of the things I was asked to do is whenever you start talking about these sorts of cases it’s easy to trot out a parade of horribles. Â To say, “Oh my goodness, if we allow Barronelle Stutzman not to participate in the same sex wedding ceremony, the next thing you know homosexuals will be dying in the streets of hunger because grocery stores won’t sell them food. Â And maybe police officers won”t protect them and hospitals won”t care for them.” And you can trot out all these incredibly kind of crazy hypothetical situations.
Response To Hypothetical Situations
And so one of the things I attempted to do in this article is to show that we protect people on the basis of religious conviction all the time. In some of the most important policy areas like national defense, education, drug and alcohol policies. Â And what we can see as we look at historical record is we routinely exempt people from general neutrally applicable laws in order to protect their religious conscience.
And the world doesn’t crash down around us. Right? So we can, for instance, exempt religious pacifist from serving in the military in times of war. Now, one could easily start raising this parade of horribles. “Oh my goodness, all sorts of people claim to be pacifists and we won’t be able to raise the number of troops we need. Â And Adolf Hitler will win World War II. And wouldn’t that be horrible?”
It would be horrible. Â But when you look at the actual historical record what you find is there really aren’t that many religious pacifists. There aren’t that many people who will pretend to be religious pacifists. Â And so we can easily exempt the religious pacifists to protect the Quakers, and Mennonites, Brethren, and others who really do have sincere religious convictions and still raise the number of troops we need. Â Even in a war like World War II, where we had to raise lots and lots of troops.
It makes perfect sense. I wish it would make sense to the Supreme Court justices of Washington State. Â I sounds like there’s not a lot of hope that that will end positively. Â But like you said, “Next step the Supreme Court.” And who knows where will be 3, 6, 8 months from now when this would probably get appealed.
So appreciate the update, Mark. God bless you for all the great work that you’re doing there. And in fact, give us a website for George Fox so we can promote them a little bit today too.
George Fox University, William Penn Honors Program
Oh sure. That would be great. Â Just you know, try googling George Fox University is about as good as anything. We particularly have a new honors program the William Penn Honors Program that if people love great books I would encourage your listeners to look at that.
Excellent. We’ll also do a link today to the article on Heritage’s website on Religious Accommodations and the Common Good. Look forward to having you back again soon.
All right. Â Thank you very much, Rick.
Stay with us folks. Â We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Constitution Was The Work Of Divine Providence
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. At the time of the American Revolution numerous other nations also had revolutions. Yet 200 years later, America is the only of those nations still under its original form of government. Is this just good luck?
Not according to Founding Father Benjamin Rush. He declared, “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration but I am perfectly satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.
George Washington agreed. In fact, he declared, “I should be pained to believe that the United States have forgotten that divine and her position which was so often manifested during our revolution or that they fail to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.” Our Founders acknowledge that our national success had come from God.
For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.
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Will We See a Difference With Trump Elected
Welcome back and thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Thanks to Professor Mark David Hall for joining us. And now we’re back now with David and Tim. Â
Guys , I’m wondering as he was talking about that. Â Especially when he mentioned, “Ok, look if they lose at the Washington Supreme Court then they can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Â And of course, we know you know at least one slot is open. That 9th seat is going to be filled by Trump at some point early this next year.
But I mean, what do you guys think in terms of these types of cases. Â What are our chances a year from now, 2 years from now, 3 years from now? Â Will we see a difference in the outcome of having a President Trump appoint judges for a couple of years, versus what we’ve dealt with for the last 8?
Rick, I’m not quite that optimistic, yet. And there’s a couple reasons why I’m not. Â Â If this case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, here’s here’s the problem. U.S. Supreme Court only accepts 1% of the cases that are appealed to it. Â So 99% of lower court cases stand the way they were decided.
Hostile Court In Washington State
So, if you’ve got a hostile court in Washington State, which you do. Â And by the way, I’ve got a lot of complaints with what happened in Washington State because Mark was there to testify as an expert witness. Â He was there at the trial court to testify. Â
And the trial court is where you get to present all the facts. And so the facts are there. Â That’s where you get the call witnesses. Â That’s all the due process clause is in the Bill of Rights. Â That’s where you get to compel witnesses on your behalf. Â Because one side sounds good till you hear the other side.
They Weren”t Give Due Process
The trial court didn’t allow that to happen. And yet the U.S. Constitution says, “That in any controversy over $20 you can have a trial by jury.” And so this court says, “No, no. Â We’re just issuing this.” And Rick what’s the summary judgment? He talked about summary judgment what”s that?
That”s where they don’t even allow you to do exactly what you’re talking about. Â You don’t get to go in and have your day in court as people typically think that they’re going to get. They just simply say, “We don’t think there’s any case you could put on that would change this.”
That is the mindset of these folks in Washington. Â That no matter what argument you make, you did not serve and participate in this gay wedding. So we’re finding for the plaintiff.
Court”s Mind Already Made Up
That’s Right. “Our our minds already made up on this. Â We don’t care what facts you present. Â We don’t care what lawyer present. Â We don’t care what experts you present, like Professor Hall. Our minds are made up.” So they do that. Â It”s going to the Supreme Court. Mark says the chances there are not very good. Â Then it”s going to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Well, the chances are 99% that they will not accept this case. But let’s say that they did. Â Let”s say that this case made at the Supreme Court in the next year or so.
Well, we hope to have Scalia”s spot filled by that point, someone Trump will choose. I’d love it if it was Mike Lee out of Utah. But whoever he chooses off that list of 20 folks, what that does is that only replaces Scalia which means we’re still short. We only have four good judges on this kind of issue.
Lawrence v. Texas
Kennedy who should be the fifth is not there. He’s the one that ruled against traditional marriage in the first place, just concocted that ruling out of thin air. He’s the guy who gave us Lawrence v. Texas which set all this up.
So let’s say it does make the U.S. Supreme Court in the next year or two. Well, you don’t have the five justices you probably need to win this thing and you don’t get the five justices unless one of the other justices decides probably to die. I don’t know that any liberal judge will go off the court voluntarily without being carried out in a casket somewhere. I mean they look at the age at which they are right now. Â They tend to take this literally as a lifetime appointment until they die somewhere. So I don’t know. You know maybe if Trump got a second term maybe he’s got a better shot.
Zorach v. Clauson
We hope that there could be four to five justices retire or leave. And this in the next four years. But I don’t have that guarantee. So I’m not necessarily optimistic on this thing. But when you look at it from the standpoint of where it should be, it should be a no brainer.
I mean, you heard Professor Hall go through the history. Â And what we’ve done with accommodation, the articles he’s written for Heritage talking about how accommodation really helps the nation. That was the Supreme Court’s position back in Zorach v. Clauson in 1952 is a religious accommodation we do every–they said it’s the best and healthiest interest of the state to accommodate religious beliefs.
Well, not anymore. So I mean, we’re really still in a precarious place at this point that really needs to be addressed.
Accommodation Of Religious Beliefs, Just Not Christian Beliefs
Let me add one possible correction. I think they do make great accommodations for religious beliefs.
Well, but not Christian beliefs. Â Would there be the accommodations for Muslims? You bet they would.
Yeah. Good point.
It’s just again, Christianity has become kind of the bane to the secular left. That’s the great evil as if Christianity is the same thing as Communism or the Nazis and it’s totally different. Christianity is one that says love your neighbor as yourself. It says pray for those. Â Bless those that curse you. Â Do good.
But we pretend as if Christianity is the great evil of the world. Well, I don’t remember many Christians over the last couple of years getting up on rooftops and throwing homosexuals off. I don’t recall many Christians that took pilots put them in the cage and burn them alive or drown them alive. I don’t recall Christians doing that. Â And yet, Christianity is what we can’t make provisions for. Even though this is the very reason that we have the love thy neighbor as thyself mentality that we do wherever we see it.
Need Generational Change
It’s so true. Â But those comparisons aren’t going to be highlighted by the major media. Â And it’s going to take a generational change for us to win this battle. Â So, hopefully Mark’s article, hopefully bringing these truths, will help to educate our people. Â And eventually, David, hopefully, we will get those additional Supreme Court justices and have a court that we can feel confident will uphold the actual Constitution.
Thanks for listening today, folks. Â You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
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