It is becoming increasingly unclear where society wishes to draw the line in regard to religious freedom and so-called “gay rights”. A recent statement by Hillary Clinton in Geneva demonstrates this lack of clarity and tends to lean toward trumping religious freedom in the name of “gay rights”. The Cardinal Newman Society blog offers an excerpt from from her speech along with commentary.
[...][N]o practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us. And this holds true for inflicting violence on LGBT people, criminalizing their status or behavior, expelling them from their families and communities, or tacitly or explicitly accepting their killing.
I would agree that “human rights” are rights that ‘belong to all of us”. That is, all have the right to life. All have the right to be secure from physical violence. But in saying that “no tradition trumps” so-called “rights” that are not in accordance with the Natural Law upon which the founding of our country was based, Clinton rejects the very basis for freedom that America has always treasured.
CNS blog rightly notes that this is also a threat to our religious freedom:
Now, while nobody in the United States is defending violence against homosexuals these comments don’t exist in a vacuum. Piggyback them on other actions by this administration that seriously curb religious liberty and that’s why many are concerned.
The question of where do gay rights end and religious liberty begin is a difficult one. This battle has played itself out many times, often with religious liberty taking the hit such as with government terminating adoption and foster care services with Catholic Charities because of their refusal to place children with same sex couples.
Also, do religious institutions have the right to fire and hire based on their teaching is still very much under threat. These are questions that cannot be answered with sweeping statements. But sweeping statements are all we’re getting from this administration.
Our rights are either based on Natural Law or they are based on the whims of the mob. Whims tend to be driven by animosity, having their basis in emotion rather than in objective reality. She noted in her speech in Geneva:
The … perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn’t cultural; it’s criminal. Likewise with slavery, what was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights.
Because her definition of “the human rights of LGBT citizens” reaches far beyond the basic rights to security all persons have, such as the right not to be murdered, what she is essentially saying here is that no religion is as important as the whims of the mob. Natural Law is null and void in the mind of the atheist, the Leftist, the homosexual, the Marxist, etc. To the Founders, however, Natural Law is the basis for freedom. It was the reasoning given for breaking away from tyranny. [Emphasis mine]
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
It’s time for the Obama Administration to go.