If you want to become the bad guy of an elephant-size sob story, simply identify yourself as a Christian and publicly champion Biblical principles.
A good sob story is always hard to beat, especially if someone’s Biblical principles inflict the alleged pain on someone else.
We see it regularly now in the news: A Christian baker, photographer, realtor, or parent is hauled into court for something they said, did or refused to do.
The label “Christian” is a badge of assurance that their businesses are moral, honest, trustworthy, and above board. It’s a shorthand way of saying the highest standards can and should be expected.
But using that particular word – for either personal or business reasons – can also make you a lightning rod for an emotional, tearful story filled with malice, bias, nonsense, and untruth.
I should know, having founded Christian Action Network and serving as its president for 33 years. I am personally aware that these attacks go beyond silly smear campaigns or goofy name-calling. If only they stopped at those things.
I’m talking about underhanded schemes to drive Christian companies out of business or, at a minimum, force them to publicly abandon their Christian principles.
In addition, individuals who dare to identify as Christian now risk getting fired, jailed, or fined, depending on what they say and do.
Opposing gay marriage can get you fined, or worse
Christian website designer Lorie Smith formed the design company 303 Creative LLC just outside Denver, Colo., and wanted to let customers know she’s all about “helping people and supporting churches and nonprofits.”
Ms. Smith also wanted to let potential clients know she would design only websites “celebrating and promoting marriages between one man and one woman.”
According to Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, however, it was illegal to make that statement on her website. Why? Because it excludes gay marriages.
Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom said, “Practically speaking, this means the law bars Lorie from using her website to explain her religious reasons for promoting only God’s design for marriage and for declining to promote any other type of marriage.”
She sued the state and lost every step of the way, including at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear her case.
Far to the northeast of Lorie Smith is Emilee Carpenter, a New York photographer who says she celebrates everyone, regardless of religion, sexual orientation, or race. If you have a mug to photograph, she’s ready to snap it.
Except: Don’t expect her to photograph same-sex weddings. That would be a violation of her Christian faith, she says.
That deeply held religious belief now means Ms. Carpenter violates New York’s anti-discrimination laws. As a result of her stance, she is facing up to $100,000 in fines, a revoked business license, and even jail time.
“The government shouldn’t banish people from the marketplace because of their faith,” she told the New York Post. “Free speech is for everyone, not just those who happen to agree with the government.”
When she lost her lawsuit, New York Attorney General Letitia James called it “a huge victory,” saying, “Love is love, which is why my office will always fight to ensure that all New Yorkers are treated equally under the law.”
All New Yorkers? What about Bible-believing Christians there? Are they not considered New Yorkers who live equally under the law, especially since they are protected by the grandest law of them all: the First Amendment?
Carpenter’s case is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan. Maybe that court will help Letitia James understand what “all New Yorkers” really means.
Shut up or get fired
In Georgia, a mother is suing the Bryan County School District for her firing from a substitute-teacher spot after she had the supposed audacity to request that her children be excused from reading a book that violated her family’s Christian beliefs.
Lindsey Barr, who taught at McCallister Elementary School, opposed All Are Welcome Here, a cartoon book replete with images of same-sex couples.
“The public schools have no business pushing radical ideology on our students, especially the youngest of our students,” Barr told Fox News Digital. “They have no business doing that.”
They probably also have no business firing teachers over their religious opinions.
“Know that the school cannot retaliate against you or your child only for exercising your First Amendment right to speak,” said her senior attorney, Tyson Langhofer, who serves as director of the Center for Academic Freedom.
A court will decide who prevails.
These are not the only Christians who have run afoul of laws that tell them what they can say, do, can’t do, or must do. There are far too many to report them all here.
Beware if you’re a Christian ministry that only hires believers
Still, a Christian ministry that refuses to hire nonbelievers bears mentioning.
The faith-based Wyoming Rescue Mission in Casper, Wyo., was told by the state’s Department of Workforce Services that it must hire non-Christian applicants.
A “self-proclaimed non-Christian” made a formal complaint to the state after learning that “all employees of the Mission must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and subscribe to our Statement of Faith and Ministry Principles.”
Did that person really want a job with this Christian ministry? Not likely. They just saw an opportunity to play the victim of religious bigots who hurt their feelings and chances for employment.
The Department of Workforce Services informed the Mission that it had violated two laws, the Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
They were ordered to hire non-Christians.
But if a business can’t discriminate based on religious belief, shouldn’t that work both ways?
Under the same logic, gay-rights organizations should be forced to hire Bible-believing Christians opposed to gay marriage, same-sex relationships, homosexuals adopting children, biological men competing in women’s sports, and transgender pronouns.
The Mission, of course, is suing the state, meaning another religious freedom issue for the courts to figure out.
“Feel Sorry for Me” stories outweigh religious rights
It is reasonable for Christians to be angered by what they see as ironclad religious freedom protections being so easily whisked away.
How is it possible? Simple. The deluge of tears from sob stories is rusting and rotting those iron-clad freedoms.
The “feel sorry for me” crowd knows that an emotional, tear-jerking story is easier for the public to understand than the bland, “boring,” legally obscure arguments of someone claiming First Amendment protections.
The sob story is pervasive because it works so well. The wailing, sniffling, and weeping cries can be heard inside and outside virtually every courtroom in the nation.
Last week, firebug attorney Urooj Rhaman pleaded with a judge to commute her jail sentence after she had been convicted of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD police van.
Rahman argued that she was drinking vodka “on an empty stomach” at the time and “became quite drunk” before she set the vehicle on fire.
How could she be blamed!?
“Tossing the Molotov cocktail was a way of expressing anger at those police officers around the country for whom black lives did not matter,” her lawyers wrote to Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Brian M. Cogan, even though Rhaman is not black.
“Feel sorry for me, not them.”
There are plenty of similar stories.
Remember the famous sob story from Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer, after protesters inflicted a mind-boggling $60 million in damage and theft during the August 2020 Magnificent Mile riots in Chicago?
“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” said Atkins. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
“Feel sorry for me, not them.”
Stripping Christians of their First Amendment freedoms is as easy as having a good sob story.
The emotional hook of each of the four religious-freedom stories cited is that Christians used their faith to promote hate, divisiveness, rejection, prejudice, and intolerance.
The result was that innocent victims suffered misery, hurt feelings, and ostracization.
How dare religious liberty laws (the argument goes) prevail over the happiness and emotional well-being of unfortunate, diverse and marginalized people?
Crybabies target ALL constitutional rights
It’s not just religious rights that are the targets of sob stories crafted to negate fundamental freedoms. Who hasn’t watched liberals almost rub their hands with glee after every mass shooting so they can pounce on gun ownership rights?
Hurricanes? Climate control advocates love them and can’t wait for those deadly, destructive numbers to tally up so they can push through green energy initiatives. Which will of course, end hurricanes.
Transgender suicides? Just try to find a news story where the gay community doesn’t use the tragedy to slam parental rights.
Sob stories have a cheetah’s legs and a lion’s jaws. The media spread them at lightning speed, and leftists pounce to chew up those inalienable rights and spit them out.
Clinton ally Rahm Emanuel has largely been credited with the quote, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” though Winston Churchill actually coined the phrase, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
I’m waiting for someone to take credit for: “Never let a good sob story die in its own tears.”