I have a new book out this week titled "You Will Be Made to Care." I chronicle the disturbing trend of persecution in the United States against people of faith.
Several years ago, I had an encounter with a young man who told me in no uncertain terms that he did not care about the rapid movement to legalize same sex marriage in the United States. It did not affect him, would not affect him and he did not care about the issue at all.
I replied to him that he would be made to care by the secular left in America. They will abide no dissent on the issue. If he decides, because of his faith, that same sex marriage is a sin, he will be made to change his mind or shut up. He could lose his job, his home, and see his career annihilated if he cared the wrong way. Sadly, since that time, I have been proven right.
The secular left in America has its own religion -- the state. Worship of the state and the self cannot tolerate dissent or competition, and therefore is moving aggressively to shut down, silence, and drive from the town square any competing ideas. Evil has been preaching tolerance, but now that it is dominate, it seeks to silence good.
A devout Mennonite couple in Iowa, Betty and Dick Odgaard, declined a request to organize, facilitate, and host a same-sex ceremony in a seventy-seven-year old church building in which they run an art gallery. The Odgaards refused on the basis of their religious beliefs, which include "the importance of living one's faith in all aspects of life." The Iowa Civil Rights Commission made them pay $5,000 in legal fees. The Odgaards have since stopped providing all wedding services at the gallery.
Citing her religious beliefs, Aloha Bed and Breakfast owner Phyllis Young declined to rent a room in her home to a lesbian couple when they told her they would only need one bed. Hawaii First Circuit Court ordered her to stop discriminating.
Jim and Mary O'Reilly, owners of Vermont's Wildflower Inn, stopped hosting weddings after being fined $30,000 for turning away a same-sex couple in 2010.
Angela McCaskill, the Chief Diversity Officer of Gallaudet University, was demoted after she signed a 2012 referendum petition regarding Maryland's same-sex marriage law. A federal court dismissed her discrimination lawsuit. As McCaskill's lawyer points out, her case demonstrates "people can have their livelihoods targeted for making a political statement."
When the owner and two pharmacists at Ralph's Thriftaway in Washington state refused to dispense abortion-inducing drugs, state regulators tried to force them to do so in spite of their religious objections and the fact that the drugs were readily available elsewhere. A 2012 federal court ruling eventually suspended the state regulations, which it found were designed "'primarily (if not solely)' to ban religiously motivated referrals while the state, at the same time, permits pharmacies to refrain from stocking and delivering drugs for 'almost unlimited' business, economic, and convenience reasons." But the verdict was overturned by the Ninth Circuit, and now the only recourse for Ralph's is an appeal to the Supreme Court.
And the list goes on. There are many more such examples of the war on our freedom to believe. And they almost all have one theme in common -- sex. Nearly all these cases involve sexual orientation or sexual behavior -- the "pelvic issues," as they've been called, that fascinate the Left. Progressives are rabidly committed to expanding the freedom to express oneself sexually without consequences and without criticism. In fact, their right to feel good about their sexual expression trumps your right to express your beliefs about it. You are required to approve and even help them celebrate -- or you can lose your job, your business, your chosen career, your home, and even your dog. The Sexual Revolution ideology of the 1960s means that personal feelings outweigh the transhistorical truths that have fostered the flourishing of all humanity. In other words, you will be made to care whether you want to or not.