April 28, 2015

Idaho City Tells Pastors “Do Gay Marriages” or Face Jail Time

In yet another battle for religious freedom in this country, a city in Idaho is acting far more like it is from North Korea or the old Soviet Union.  The Washington Times reports:
Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, city officials have laid down the law to Christian pastors within their community, telling them bluntly via an ordinance that if they refuse to marry homosexuals, they will face jail time and fines.

The dictate comes on the heels of a legal battle with Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post wedding chapel in the city, but who oppose gay marriage, The Daily Caller reported.
A federal judge recently ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, while the city of Coeur d‘Alene has an ordinance that prevents discrimination based on sexual preference.
Yes, that’s right – now pastors are being threatened with fines and jail time if they refuse to go against their beliefs and perform “same-sex” marriages.  This goes well beyond the assault on Christian businesses by the homosexual bullies.  This is a direct frontal assault on Christian churches.
And, this is not an exaggeration or a misunderstanding of the city’s ordinance as the Washington Times explains:
The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a suit in federal court to stop the city from enforcing the fine and jail sentence, saying in a statement from senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco that the government has overstepped its bounds, The Daily Caller reported.
“Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here — and it’s happened this quickly,” Mr. Tedersco said, The Daily Caller reported.
But the city sees it differently. As far back as May, city officials were insisting that their ordinance is indeed in line with law.
“If you turn away a gay couple, refuse to provide services for them, then in theory you violated our code, and you’re looking at a potential misdemeanor citation,” said Coeur d‘Alene City Attorney Warren Wilson, to KXLY months ago.

What the city attorney and the homosexual radicals are overlooking is the fact that no pastor is required to perform weddings.  It is a voluntary ministry of their churches.  Now, if a minister put a sign on the church door that said, “No gays allowed”, that would be different.  But, the truth is that almost all churches welcome sinners regardless of their past.  The mission of the Christian Church is to bring the lost to salvation.

But, having said that, it must also be understood that churches set their own requirements for membership, leadership, and employee qualifications.  It is their undisputed right to do so.  No outside group or government has the right to dictate beliefs to any church.  That is an absolutely clear violation of the 1st Amendment.

1 comment:

  1. This is what happens when churches sell their souls for tax exemptions from the government. As always, refuse to comply. The ordinance is illegal and immoral. Forcing the city to act on their anti-religious law would be a sure way to show the world their hypocrisy.