If there’s one thing I appreciate about the progressive socialist left, it doesn’t take them long to validate an assertion I’ve put forth. Recently we reported here about the $3.25 million settlement Bernard Township, New Jersey will pay to an Islamic Center of Basking Heights due to a discrimination lawsuit filed protesting the blocking of the construction of a mosque. The U.S. Department of Justice brought the lawsuit and was aided by other groups in the prosecution of this case. It came down to the accusation that the Township Council was in violation of the First Amendment, specifically the freedom of religion clause, and the denial of a permit to build the mosque was discriminatory in purpose. The lawsuit even brought to bear in the case what were termed anti-Muslim flyers and social media posts.
Ahh, the hypocrisy, because here we go again… As reported by Michigan Radio, “The city of East Lansing is being sued by a farmer who claims his religious views are being discriminated against.
Organic apple grower Steve Tennes has been a fixture at the East Lansing farmers market for the past six years. But his Country Mill Farms won’t be there this year. Tennes says, since he posted on Facebook last year that his Charlotte farm would not host same sex weddings because of his family’s Catholic beliefs, East Lansing officials have tried to push him out of the farmers market.
The city introduced a change to the city’s farmers market vendor agreement this year requiring vendors to agree to and comply with East Lansing’s Human Relations Ordinance. Among other things, the ordinance bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. But Tennes says he’s the one being discriminated against.
“True tolerance is a two-way street,” Tennes told reporters, “The government should not eradicate people of faith from the marketplace.” Tennes’ attorney declines to say how much money Country Mill farm is losing by not being at the East Lansing farmers market. The farm does sell its produce and other products at other mid-Michigan farmers markets. The lawsuit filed today in federal court in the Western District of Michigan is seeking damages and reversal of a city policy requiring farmers market vendors agree to East Lansing’s Human Relations Ordinance.”
The bottom line here is that the city of East Lansing, Michigan created an ordinance specifically targeting a particular business owner because of his faith belief. Just as I commented in the piece about the mosque settlement case, I find it interesting how the progressive socialist left gets to define what and where is religious discrimination.
As I said, if you’re not aligned with the liberal progressive agenda, you have a target on your back.
Furthermore, how can it be that the U.S. Supreme Court can create a “new right” — the right to marriage, and then make it the “law of the land?” The purpose of the SCOTUS is to interpret the law, not create law.
And if there’s a 14th Amendment equal protection under the law clause for same-sex marriage, why is there not the same for freedom of religion? As a matter of fact, why isn’t that the case for the Second Amendment? Oops, forgot, you have to be aligned with the liberal progressive left’s ideological agenda, and theirs is about gun control.
Consider what has just happened: the state (government) just created a law, an ordinance, because of a law abiding, lawful business owner’s faith. So, are we to believe that, according to the left, we don’t have a freedom of religion, but rather a freedom of worship, as defined by the state? It would appear so, since the East Lansing council decided this business owner cannot conduct commerce within their city limits due to his faith belief.
How much more blatant and discriminatory can this be? So, I must ask our dear progressive socialist friends, what is the difference between the Country Mills Farms and the Islamic Society of Basking Heights? The clear and evident answer is that progressive socialists and Islam are aligned when it comes to defining discrimination, but Christians are left out, open to persecution and prosecution. And what’s even more perplexing is how can it be that the liberal progressive left and their radical gay lobbyists get so enraged over a wedding ceremony or cake, when gays and lesbians face the penalty of death in Muslim nations…many of which were there when President Trump addressed them in Saudi Arabia, where such a thing is practiced.
I suppose we shall hear nothing from the entertainment elites who threatened boycotts against the state of North Carolina and other states that would dare pass a law about bathroom use.
Here is what the left isn’t getting: we see all of this and we’re taking notes. The leftist hypocrisy is so very evident and cannot be hidden — certainly not defended. I’m amazed we don’t have the Department of Justice bringing suit against East Lansing as they did against Bernard Township. Steve Tennes has a solid case of discrimination against the city of East Lansing. But what is also telling is the lack of coverage of this story by the liberal progressive media.
How many more times are we to witness the discrimination against those of the Christian faith who believe marriage is a sacrament between one man and one woman? Have we crossed the barrier and now have the complete violation of separation of church and state, where the state is using coercion, intimidation, and the fear of financial threat and penalty against those who possess a faith belief contrary to the agenda of the state itself? And, spare me the weak and intellectually dishonest comparison between sexual behavior and race. If we’re now embarking upon a crusade to make individual behaviors protected, then we’re going down a very interesting path. Furthermore, when we create these protections at the expense of the individual rights and liberties of others, long established in our rule of law, then who gets to define where “equal protection under the law” applies?
Amazingly, this all came about because of what Steve Tennes placed on his Facebook page. This has nothing to do with the quality of the produce he sells or the pricing. He violated no law, until the East Lansing council created an ordinance making that so. And can’t consumers make their own decision in the marketplace without the state coming in with a punitive attitude based on their subjective agenda-driven dislike — which is what this is — based on effective lobbying from a special interest group.
Here is what the long term result ends up being: driving Christians and Christianity underground, especially in the marketplace. Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, the florist in Seattle Washington, and the photography studio owner in New Mexico…along with the Hobby Lobby case and that of the Little Sisters of the Poor convey a message that the state is now endeavoring to use legal avenues to penalize the Christian faith as it is deemed in opposition to the liberal progressive ideological agenda.
Will there come a time when Christians become too fearful of openly admitting their faith, anxious about facing massive legal — actually illegal and unconstitutional — actions by the state? Have we entered into a time when freedom of religion is redefined as the freedom to worship where allowed, and only allowed if in agreement with the State agenda?
This is dangerous, but I can say one simple thing: Steve Tennes should settle this case for nothing less than $3.25 million.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]