COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 19, 2015—This week the left-leaning Denver Post stirred up another gay-rights controversy when the pro-homosexual Log Cabin Republicans were denied an exhibit booth at Colorado Christian University’s annual Western Conservative Summit, scheduled for June 24-26 in Denver. The story is one that is becoming all too common: the forcing of the homosexual community’s lifestyle on Christians whose beliefs differ.
The story is simple, the basic facts—while sometimes distorted—are not in question.
The Log Cabin Republicans are a conservative group in most ways. Their beliefs include limited government, a strong national defense, confident foreign policy, low taxes, personal responsibility and individual liberty. What’s not to like? They participate in Colorado GOP activities.
But they also advocate for LGBT issues, including same-sex marriage. That’s where the Log Cabin Republicans and the Western Conservative Summit, sponsored by Colorado Christian University, part ways. As organizations, they can and should be allowed to agree to disagree.
That’s the American way.
That’s tolerance and inclusion in practice.
That’s what happened.
The Western Conservative Summit returned their registration fee, saying that a Christian university could not sponsor a group that advocated an anti-Biblical message but that individual members were more than welcome to attend.
There’s never been anything on the Western Conservative Summit registration forms that ask about sexual orientation. Before this year, the Log Cabin Republicans have not exhibited at the conference. So what’s the problem?
The Log Cabin Republicans took their story to the Denver Post, where political opinion writer Lynn Bartels wrote that the conference “disinvites” the group.
“As a private organization,” she wrote, “the summit has a right to decide the invite list, Log Cabin Republicans concede. But still.”
There is no “But still.” Individuals and organizations are protected by the First Amendment to practice their religion and to enjoy freedom of speech.
Maybe John Andrews, organizer of the event, is making a mistake. If so, it’s his to make.
In the growing pogrom against Christian beliefs by the militant left, that’s not acceptable. Andrews, the conference and the university must be publicly shamed and humiliated.
St. Alinsky’s Twelfth Commandment demands it.
That’s what happened. Pro-gay-rights groups picked up the story and amplified it. Republicans—but not Andrews or Colorado Christian—caved. Newly elected State GOP chair Steve House said that the Log Cabin Republicans could share his table. He seems not to have understood that the lack of an invitation applied only to the organization, not the members.
In an email, he wrote, “As far as I know the Log Cabin Republicans have no intention of distributing literature or advocating for Gay Marriage at this event.”
To their credit, the Denver Post allowed a guest editorial by Andrews. In it he wrote,
“To have had Log Cabin supporters from across the country calling us haters, bigots, and the Taliban in return, trying to shut down our conference, didn’t feel like the American way.”
That’s because it isn’t the American way. It’s the way of radicals, of extremists and totalitarians everywhere—whether they be the real Taliban defacing Buddhist temples, or ISIS executing Christians, or Nazis burning books and executing Jews, or Marxist regimes murdering hundreds of millions of their own citizens who disagree with them.
It can’t happen here? No one is losing their life yet—but they are losing their livelihoods, homes and businesses.
In Denver, baker Jack Phillips was brought before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing on religious grounds to bake a wedding cake for homosexuals.. He was fined and ordered to submit to reeducation.
The case is still on appeal but he’s stopped baking cakes.
In a role reversal, Bill Jack went to the Azucar Bakery and asked for a Christian–themed cake with an open Bible and the Leviticus reference against the practice of homosexuality printed on it. Owner Marjorie Silva said the message was “really hateful…[using] the words detestable, disgrace, homosexuality, and sinners.”
Jack’s message didn’t use those words, but the Colorado Civil Rights Division declined to hear Jack’s case.
That case will be appealed this week.
This is not hypocrisy—this is pushing an agenda. This is the attempt to define what speech and belief is appropriate and allowed and what is not. When that attempt happens in the public square, that’s fine. Increasingly it is happening in the federal courts and in non-judicial proceedings like the Civil Rights Commission.
That’s not fine. It is not the role of government under our Constitution to define or redefine marriage or what constitutes moral behavior.
Until Americans stand up and insist on their God-given and constitutionally protected rights, expect the bullies of the left to get louder and more insistent. Appeasement never works.
On April 19, 1775, 240 years ago today, American colonists sent a clear message to the British government about how far they were willing to go to defend their rights. How far are we willing to go?