An Open Letter to Senator Rubio

First, let me be up front, I am presently supporting Ted Cruz for President. But on the other hand, if you are the Republican nominee, I am not going to have qualms about pulling the lever for you as opposed to the Democratic nominee. But as of this juncture, I still have some serious reservations about you as President. You came to the Senate as a Tea Party candidate, and I thought then that you had a bright future. But I have some problems with some of your stances, and the way you have handled yourself with respect to those positions. Today, I just want to address one of those.

Let’s face it. You changed your stance on immigration when you got to the Senate. Everyone in the room knows it; it’s time to admit it. Look, you got to the Senate as a new member of Congress. You were young, fresh and idealistic. And those in power recognized you as someone with potentially a bright future. Knowing that, they decided they had to get you under control. They whispered sweet nothings in your ear. They offered to bring you into their inner circle. They included you with seven powerful Senators to work on immigration reform. It had to be enticing. It must have made your head swim. You lost sight of what you had promised when you ran for that office.

Senator: I understand that. It would be mighty difficult not to succumb to the pressure and to the lure of that siren song. Who among us hasn’t fallen prey to that kind of temptation in our personal or professional lives? I am totally opposed to the Gang of Eight bill, but I can forgive you for putting it forward. Just admit you made a mistake. Tell us that you blew it and should have stood on your principles. Let us know that you are wiser now because you have learned from that mistake, and you won’t fall for it again. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

But the problem is that you keep trying to explain it away as not being a mistake. Senator, that isn’t genuine. That is pure political malarkey. You are attempting to do a political two-step and dance around this issue. You say that it was the best bill that we could get out of the Senate so that the President wouldn’t do something on his own. You say that you were hoping that the House would change the bill when it got to them (Way to shift that responsibility to someone else to pull your behind out of the fire! Would you accept that type of rationale from one of your kids? “Well gee Dad, I know that I said that I would take out the garbage, but I figured that my brother would do it for me.”) Come on, Senator. We are tired of this kind of political double-speak. You sound like Hillary, or Bill, or Donald.

Listen, everyone makes mistakes. It takes a responsible adult, who can be a leader, to be able to take ownership of those mistakes. For whatever reason, whether based on your own ideas, or those of your campaign advisors, you have decided that the best response to this issue is to try to assert the argument that you didn’t really change your views, and that you took the best course of action. Senator, I am here to tell you that that approach is a loser. It’s not flying with anyone except your campaign staff, and I would bet that it makes some of them uncomfortable.

For those of us who are against immigration amnesty proposals, which makes up the great majority of not only the Republican electorate but the American electorate, your continued assertion of this argument is convincing us that we cannot trust you on this issue. We are afraid that if you get elected you will do exactly what was proposed in the Gang of Eight bill. And your continued assertion of that argument convinces us that we cannot trust you to be true to your promises.

Are you afraid to admit that you made a mistake? We aren’t electing a perfect person; we are electing a human. And as humans, we know we all make mistakes. We all fail. We all make bad decisions.

Let’s bring a lesson here from our shared faith. Do you think you are a better person than the apostle Peter? Forget the denying Jesus three times episode. That’s bad enough. But go back and read Galatians 2. Paul tells the story of when Peter was in Antioch and succumbed to peer pressure when “certain men came from James” (Gal. 2:12 NIV) and stopped eating with Gentiles in the presence of Jews because “he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group” (Gal 2:12 NIV). This was the man who was a strong leader of the early church. This was the man who, according to early church stories, asked to be crucified upside down because he didn’t deserve to die like his savior. And he made a bad mistake in judgment because of peer pressure. And those folks really weren’t even his equals.

Senator, please, just admit that you made a mistake. Let us know that you know it. And assure us that you have learned from that mistake. Tell us the truth.  We will respect you more for that. Donald has said that he has never asked for forgiveness, and from what I have heard and read, that is because he never sees himself as having made a mistake. Show us you are different than Donald. Until then you are just being a politician. Here’s hoping you are different.

The Leftist LGBT Agenda: Tyranny, not liberty.

Remember when the left used to accuse those on the right, especially the Religious Right, of trying to impose their ethics on others? I guess they wanted you to think that their goal was a libertarian country and they just wanted everyone to have individual freedoms to live as they saw fit. Well, think again.

As has become patently obvious over the past few years, those on the left, and especially activists from the LGBT community, are not interested in just having their rights to marry, or to do in their bedrooms what they want. Their goal is not to keep the government out of their bedrooms; their goal is to bring the government crashing down on our businesses, schools and churches. This isn’t a libertarian movement. It is actually a totalitarian, oppressive big government movement. They are telling those on the right, especially the religious right, that we do not have the right to believe what we want and to act on those beliefs, even if the LGBT community is not disenfranchised in any way.  They want to force us to change our views, using the power of the government.

If you think that this will not impact you, you had better wake up. The heat has been turned up on the pot in which this proverbial frog is cooking. If we don’t jump soon, we will be dead. To mix my metaphors, we are well on the way down the slippery slope.

The Threat to Private Businesses

Businesses that refuse to provide specific services to Gays and Lesbians are being prosecuted for their refusals. And recognize that these businesses are not discriminating against all services to Gays and Lesbians, but only certain practices, usually involving same-sex ceremonies, that they think violate their religious beliefs.

Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon lost their shop and are facing huge fines as a result of refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple who were getting married.[i]  And it wasn’t as if this couple couldn’t go up the street to get another wedding cake. The couple wasn’t disenfranchised in any way. The Kleins are not the only bakery in town. If you are gay, why would you want to get a cake from them unless it’s to make a political point?

Jack Phillips who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado was told that he has to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples and to direct his staff to attend diversity training sessions. And this was after Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for the couple but offered to bake them anything else they wanted[ii].  He has also said that he has no problem baking a birthday cake for an LGBT person’s party, but just not a wedding cake because he feels like he would be participating in the ceremony. And just like the Kleins, this isn’t a case in which the couple didn’t have other alternatives. This isn’t about the cake. This is about forcing others to conform to your views. So now, Mr. Phillips has said he will just stop making wedding cakes. [iii]

Elaine Huguenin is a professional photographer who refused to do the photography for a same-sex wedding. She said that “she would happily photograph gay customers, but not in a context that seemed to endorse same-sex marriage.” The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that was not good enough, and that Ms. Huguenin did not have the freedom to make that decision. If she offers her services to the public, then she must serve all the public. [iv]

That decision alone is distressing. Taken to its logical conclusion, that would mean that she would be obligated to photograph people participating in any legal behavior if requested to do so. And please don’t try to argue that courts would never take it that far. They have already gone beyond where we thought they would never go ten years ago. We are sliding down a steeper and ever more slippery slope at an ever increasing speed.

Just this month, the Lexington-Fayette Human Rights Commission announced their decision that Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals, a T-shirt company, violated the law by refusing to print shirts for the Lexington Gay Pride parade in 2012. Adamson stated that he refused to print the shirts because of the message conveyed on the shirt, not because of the sexual orientation of the customers.

And this is not the only order that Adamson has refused. Of the thirteen orders he has turned down in the past two years, one of them was for a Christian group because he thought the design, which included blood, was too racy.[v] The ruling, which includes the ever-present condition in these sorts of cases that the employees must undergo diversity training, implies that Adamson cannot refuse any business regardless of his convictions concerning the message conveyed.[vi]

So, if the Westboro Baptist Church asked them to print T-shirts saying that all gays should be executed, do you think the LGBT community in Lexington would be supportive of Mr. Adamson’s business for obeying the recent ruling? This isn’t an issue of freedom and equal access for the LGBT community; this is an attempt to impose their views and beliefs on the rest of us. They want to be free to voice their opinion, but it is clear they do not want those opposed to be able to voice their views. That is where this is heading, and as is evident in the most recent cases, it has already arrived.

Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who own Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, NY, have been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $1500 each to Jennifer McCarthy and Melissa Erwin after they refused to rent their farm to the couple for a same-sex wedding ceremony. They did offer to let them use the facility for their reception, but obviously that wasn’t good enough. The Giffords host several birthday parties and about a dozen weddings a year, but because of the ruling, have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property going forward. The Giffords argued that they live on the premises and as part of the ceremony preparations open up their private residence to the wedding party. The court decided that their privacy and their religious convictions weren’t enough to allow them to choose not to host gay weddings. [vii]The ultimate result of this is a loss of one more wedding venue to couples in the Albany area. It doesn’t mean that gay couples have another place to get married.

There are a growing number of examples of bakers, florists and lodges who have refused their services for same-sex weddings because of their religious convictions. In every case so far, the courts have ruled that these businesses offer their services to the public, and are not exclusively religious, and therefore cannot discriminate based on their personal religious convictions.

I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind all of this. If a company doesn’t want your business, why would you want to force them to take it if you have other options? I can understand the dilemma if they are the only company in an area offering that particular service, but in none of these situations is that the case. If they don’t want to take your money, then go elsewhere. Vote with your pocketbook. And tell your like-minded friends. Instead, the LGBT community is using the club of government to force businesses into (conformity) submission, and in most cases, out of business altogether. And I am not sure that is not the ultimate intent. “If you don’t agree with us, then you are not allowed in this society.” Liberal and tolerant? I don’t think so.

The Threat to Academic Institutions

However, it is apparent that the movement isn’t going to stop there. Earlier this month Gordon College, an evangelical Christian college in Massachusetts, announced that they “will spend the next year studying current campus policies on same-sex behavior.” This is in response to the regional accrediting body, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) discussion at its September meeting concerning “whether Gordon’s prohibition on “homosexual practice” conflicts with its accreditation standards.” Of course Gordon’s Life And Conduct policy also bans any sexual conduct outside of marriage. [viii]

Gordon College is one of the top evangelical academic institutions in the country. However, for any academic institution, regional accreditation determines your viability. Without it, your degrees become nice pieces of paper, but that’s all. The ability of your students to qualify for government loans and grants is taken away if you lose accreditation. In other words, the NEASC is threatening Gordon with its sledgehammer in an apparent effort to get them to remove part of their distinctive Christian heritage. And if they can do this, there is no limit to what they can force you to do if you want to maintain the coveted regional accreditation.

In the article in Christianity Today, one alum is quoted as saying that “The current policy creates a sense of fear for LGBTQ students and is psychologically harmful to those in the community.” I am sorry, but weren’t you aware of the policy before you applied to Gordon? It’s not like they were hiding it. All of those rules are available for anyone to see. Most students apply to specific colleges because of the majors they offer, the campus life available, and the heritage and perspective of the school. There are plenty of educational opportunities for LGBTQ students in which they will be fully able to do whatever they want to do. Why must folks on the left want to impose their views and lifestyles on others with whom they disagree?

Gordon is not telling you not to come if you are gay. They are just saying that you cannot participate in homosexual practice as a member of the Gordon community. And guess what, if you are straight, but not married, you can’t participate in sexual activities as a member of the Gordon community either.

Almost all Christian colleges have some sort of lifestyle guidelines. Gordon is actually a lot more open than most. Some of them are so tight that they make me cringe. But I don’t want to change them; I just don’t want to teach there. I wouldn’t apply for a position there and then complain because of their lifestyle agreement. Students shouldn’t apply to a Christian school, or any school, and once there complain about the very conditions that make that school unique.

Certainly, if a regional accrediting body can cause Gordon College to reexamine their behavioral conduct policy, then all Christian academic institutions are in peril. As I said, Gordon is one of the top evangelical academic institutions in the country. It’s not their academics that are in question here, it’s their religious beliefs. That is chilling.

The Threat to the Pulpit

Even when states were telling private businesses that they could not refuse services for same-sex weddings, the asserted caveat was that this would never impact churches or ministers because those were specifically religious, and of course the first amendment would protect them. I was never convinced that a government, drunk with the power of ever-increasing encroachments on our freedoms, would stop at that obstacle. Their touted “wall of separation” would suddenly become no more than a speed bump. When the left wants to keep religious views out of government, they want a wall (even without the evidence of history and the writings of the founders on their side). However, when they want to exert the power of government, then religion is forced into the closets of one’s personal life and mind. And yes, I did say closet.

The latest, and probably most egregious, example of this are the actions of the City of  Houston, led by openly lesbian Mayor, Annise Parker, which “has  issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity” or the mayor.[ix] This is all in response to a reaction to a new city ordinance allowing transgendered individuals to use whichever public bathroom facility they wished. Opponents of the new law, including a coalition of over four hundred churches, submitted a petition asking for a public referendum on the ordinance. When the petition was disallowed because of alleged irregularities (in spite of having 50,000 signatures, well over the 17,269 required), a lawsuit was filed pushing for the public referendum.

In response to the lawsuit, the city has now issued those subpoenas for the pastor’s sermons. And the pastors subpoenaed are not even parties to the lawsuit. And it isn’t just sermons. It is all communications with their congregants regarding the new law.

It is apparent that what the city and the Mayor are trying to do here is to intimidate the pastors. They want to portray them as homophobic and as bigots. They want to silence them. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council commented:

This is the moment I wrote about in my book, “God Less America.” I predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors. I warned that under the guise of “tolerance and diversity” elected officials would attempt to deconstruct religious liberty.[x]

I don’t know who will end up winning this battle in Houston, but I am sure, whatever the outcome, it will not be the last fight. It is certain that preachers who continue to preach the biblical message that homosexual behavior is a sin will be persecuted, and eventually prosecuted. That is the road we are on.

It is certain that states will require that anyone who is authorized to perform wedding ceremonies cannot refuse to perform same-sex weddings. Recently, when the law barring same-sex weddings in North Carolina was overturned in court, a local magistrate, based on his Christian convictions, refused to perform a same-sex ceremony. Now all magistrates have been told that they must “perform civil marriages for same-sex couples or face suspension or dismissal from their state jobs.” [xi]

How far away from this is it for someone to argue that anyone, including a minister, who performs a wedding ceremony, is acting as an officer of the state?  As I argued earlier today in a Facebook post:

If the state supposedly grants the authority to anyone who performs a marriage ceremony to do so, then cannot the state dictate how you carry out that authority? That will mean that any minister refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies will then lose his/her ability to perform any wedding ceremonies, or be charged with a crime. And anyone wishing to get married legally by the state will have to go to a state approved officiant, or not be legally married in the eyes of the state. At that point, churches and ministers will have to decide whom they serve. Personally, for those who have ever been to a marriage which I have officiated, I never say “by the power vested in me by the state of …..” In my view, marriage is under the authority of God, not the state (Go watch Braveheart.); the state just deals with tax and inheritance issues.[xii]

If you think that can’t happen, then you are not paying attention. Our religious and political freedoms are under assault. Those who are attacking us will not be satisfied until they either shut us up entirely, force us to conform to their beliefs and behaviors, or just drive us underground. I don’t like any of those options.

I will not shut up. I will not change my beliefs. And I am not planning on going anywhere. However, I might start performing religious weddings if it came to that without regard to state issued marriage licenses. (Again, I refer to the movie Braveheart.). And it might be that our educational institutions have to spurn secular accreditation in order to maintain their distinctiveness. But recognize folks, that if it comes to that, we will no longer be living in a republic adhering to the United States Constitution. We will no longer be free. It will be a tyranny of the left. And from where I sit, it doesn’t seem like such a long way off.

We are the proverbial frogs in the pan of water, and the heat has been turned on high. Are we going to just swim around oblivious to our surroundings until we boil to death?

As I wrote this, I certainly had second-thoughts about publishing it. I work in academia. That’s not a community very tolerant of the views I have expressed today.  Will I be stirring up a hornet’s nest which will result in me being the one getting stung? Why not just be quiet, keep my head down, and hope to live out my life in peace. But I decided that if I sit here and say nothing, the way things are going, I will end up living in tyranny because the left is surely not interested in allowing us liberty.

Well, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Check out this story in which ordained ministers in Coeur d’Alene are being threatened with legal action if they refuse to perform same-sex weddings. This is being done under the pretense that the ministers operate a wedding chapel that is a for-profit business. Don’t be suckered into that line of reasoning. From the left’s point of view, it doesn’t matter if it’s a for-profit business, or a non-profit church. They will impose their way on us, or drive us out. Again, this is tyranny, not liberty. They are not interested in their freedoms; they are interested in power over us.


[i]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[ii] .  Accessed 10/16/14.

[iii]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[iv]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[v]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[vi]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[vii]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[viii]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[ix]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[x]  Accessed 10/16/14.

[xi]–Gay-Marriage-North-Carolina  Accessed 10/16/14.

[xii]!/jon.c.ham/posts/10152950112136842?notif_t=mention  Accessed 10/16/14.