The progressive left still doesn't understand. Evangelicals favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by 5-to-1. Catholics favored Obama in 2008 and 2012, but Pew Research found them favoring Trump over Clinton 52to 45 percent, though a later report shows them split more or less evenly between the two.
Progressives wonder why any Christians would support such a sinful figure as Mr. Trump.
Answer: Because secular personalities can’t comprehend the religious scruples of people who resist liberal dogma on sexual matters.
The case of Jack Phillips, who appeared before the Supreme Court last month, illustrates their blindness. Phillips is the Colorado baker who violated state anti-discrimination rules when he declined on religious grounds to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. The couple filed suit, and for three years Phillips has fought a legal battle. The Supreme Court accepted his case and heard oral arguments on Dec. 5, 2017.
Here is how some of the media reported on the session:
Newsweek opened its coverage by judging the case a question of "whether same-sex couples can be discriminated against under the cover of religious freedom." The Denver Post termed Phillips' citation of his First Amendment rights "a deception."
A Chicago Tribune columnist claimed, "In this case, religious intolerance was the driving force behind this discriminatory act, though it has been dressed up to appear to be something more complex."
The Nation ran a story on Phillips' counsel, the Alliance for Defending Freedom, ( which cast the ADF as a project out to "curtail LGBTQ rights under the guise of religious freedom."
A "cover," "deception," "dressed up," a "guise." Religious conscience, you see, is a fraud.
It doesn’t matter that Phillips doesn't object to serving gay customers, who have bought his creations for years. Or that he told this particular couple that he would sell them any of his goods off the shelf, that his only difficulty was custom-designing a cake for a same-sex wedding, which would implicate him in a ceremony that would cross his religious convictions.
No, those facts don’t matter. Progressives simply don't take his convictions seriously. They don’t even believe that they are real. It’s all merely a front.
Don't assume that religious conservatives haven't noticed this characterization. When a commentator terms their religion a sham, when they dismiss obedience to sacred text as a guise for bias against people different from themselves, well, the exchange is over.
They know who the bullies are — not the family business that makes no distinctions among people, but only holds off from what it considers heretical actions. No, it's the two gay lawyers from Massachusetts who found it too onerous to visit a nearby bakery that would be happy to make their cake.
And don't overlook the hammer of the state, either. After the complaint was lodged against Mr. Phillips, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission forced Mr. Phillips to serve same-sex weddings or stop doing wedding cakes altogether (his choice was number 2). They demanded training sessions for his employees plus regular written reports on their "progress."
One commissioner declared at the hearing,"Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust . . . . And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use . . . their religion to hurt others."
Again, religious faith is a fake, a tool to use against others. The formula does two things. One, it says that the Christians are the aggressors in the case. And two, it turns religion into a power play against innocent victims.
This is just the kind of imputation that infuriates its target. The religious conservative hears it said that his religion, his God, makes him into a nasty, dishonest human being.
But from where he sits, the gargantuan force of the state, not to mention the money and power of mega-corporations such as Apple and Google, falls squarely on the other side. And he doesn’t think he’s so bad for obeying his church.
November 2018 will be an easy decision. Keep telling him that he and his Bible are awful, and he's voting for the right.
Mark Bauerlein is Professor of English at Emory University and Senior Editor at First Things Magazine. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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