FOX: If We Can’t Force Our Morality Upon Others’ Personal Lives, it Must Mean We’re Being Persecuted
“Reporter” Todd Starnes of FOX News has issued his prediction for the fallout from yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that because of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, conservative Christians can’t continue to prevent other people from exercising their own freedom to marry:
“Churches and faith-based business should prepare for lawsuits and government investigations. Pastors who refuse to perform gay marriages and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges. All dissent will be silenced by the government and the activists.”
This statement says more about Todd Starnes than it does about the reality of the situation. Just as churches have maintained the absolute right to refuse to perform inter-faith weddings or inter-racial weddings (yes, refusals to perform inter-racial weddings still happen in American churches), so too they will maintain the absolute right to refuse to perform same-sex weddings if they choose. As for pastors being charged with hate crimes for preaching from the Bible, I can’t find a single report of this. Finally, if “all dissent is to be silenced by the government,” how did Todd Starnes’ column slip by the censors?
No, Starnes isn’t speaking from a perspective of objective reality. But he is speaking from a perspective of personal psychological reality. In his personal psychological world, Starnes holds on to a cherished reality in which his personal beliefs can and should be used as a basis to keep others from living their lives as they’d like. Starnes has lived for 47 years inside the bubble of this particular personal reality, and so he seemingly can’t imagine that, once unshackled, the people who’s freedom he’s strained to squash won’t try to squash him right back. Starnes can’t or won’t see the possibility of living his life freely and letting others live their lives freely too. Starnes can’t see the other way of living that the marriage equality movement has successfully forged.
Of course, I live inside my own perception of reality, too. I could be deluded. Todd Starnes could be right. We’ll see who’s right. Let’s check back in six months and see whether pastors who refuse to perform gay marriages or preach from the Bible are charged with a crime. Let’s check back in six months and see whether all dissent has been silenced by the government.
What do you think we’ll find in six months’ time?