Religious freedom is just one of the rights enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. But it seems that President Barack Obama disagrees, at least to a point. While speaking at a LGBT fundraiser in New York City on Sunday, Obama issued what many have taken to be a stern warning to Christians, telling them in no uncertain terms that their faith-based opposition to gay marriage will fail.
“We affirm that we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions,” he said. “But we also have to say clearly that our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.”
Obama, Breitbart said, spent a good portion of the speech ridiculing GOP candidates for their stand on the issue, and made several false claims. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson were apparent targets of his speech, Charlie Spiering said.
“I’m sure he loves the Constitution — except for Article III,” Obama said of Huckabee. “And maybe the Equal Protection Amendment. And 14th Amendment, generally.”
He went after Carson for or suggesting that “prison turns you gay.” Carson, Time said, told CNN that homosexuality is a choice, observing that a number of people go into prison straight, but are gay when they are released. The retired neurosurgeon backed off the statement and apologized. Carson supports civil marriages for gays, but does not believe judges should be permitted to dictate or restrict religious beliefs.
The problem for many is the conflict between the enumerated right to freedom of religion in the Constitution versus the court-created “right” to gay marriage. In issuing the Obergefell decision, members of the Supreme Court warned that gay marriage could easily be used as a club to stifle the freedom of those with religious objections. That was demonstrated with the recent incident involving Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Davis spent several days in jail and became something of a celebrity among religious conservatives. Anti-Christian liberals, including some members of the so-called “mainstream media” used the Davis controversy to further an agenda of hatred against religious conservatives.
According to Breitbart, DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Shultz attended the fundraiser, and Star Trek actor George Takei was expected to attend. Takei sparked a great deal of anger when he called Davis supporters “un-American.”