Georgia Governor Vetoes Religious Liberty Bill Protecting Pastors, Faith-Based Organizations

Nathan DealATLANTA — The Southern Baptist-identifying governor of Georgia has vetoed a religious liberty bill that provided conscience protections for pastors and non-profit faith-based organizations, stating that there is no need for such legislation, and that the protections provided under the First Amendment are sufficient.

“As I’ve said before, I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part for all of our lives,” Gov. Nathan Deal said during a press conference on Monday.

As previously reported, legislators recently combined H.B. 757, also known as the Pastor Protection Act, with S.B. 284, the First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia. The Pastor Protection Act unanimously passed the Georgia House, finding support among Democrats and Republicans alike.

“No minister of the gospel or cleric or religious practitioner ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages, perform rites, or administer sacraments according to the usages of the denomination … in violation of his or her right to free exercise of religion under the Constitution of this state or the United States,” it reads in part.

The First Amendment Act of Georgia mandates that “[g]overnment shall not take any discriminatory action against wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes, speaks or acts in accordance with a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

It also states that faith-based non-profit organizations cannot be forced to hire those whose beliefs and behaviors conflict with the entity, and that such organizations have a right to decline to host objectionable events.

Adjustments had been made to the proposal prior to passage, such as the notation that no person should be compelled to attend a same-sex ceremony.

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But Gov. Deal, who had already warned that he might veto the legislation, faced pressure from homosexual advocacy groups to reject the move. Additionally, according to reports, over 300 U.S. corporations and small businesses signed a petition in opposition of the bill. Microsoft, Google, Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola and Home Depot all claimed that the law would have an adverse affect on the economy.

On Monday, Deal said that he found the legislation unnecessary since Georgia does not have a public accommodations law like other states, and because he found the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be sufficient.

“[The Founding Fathers] had previously proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that man’s Creator had endowed all men ‘with certain unalienable rights,’ including ‘liberty,’ which embraces religious liberty,” he said. “They made it clear that those liberties were given by God and not by man’s government. Therefore, it was unnecessary to enumerate in statute or constitution what those liberties included.”

“If indeed our religious liberty is conferred by God and not by man-made government, we should heed the ‘hands-off’ admonition of the First Amendment to our Constitution,” the governor continued. “When legislative bodies attempt to do otherwise, the inclusions and omissions in their statutes can lead to discrimination, even though it may be unintentional. That is too great a risk to take.”

Deal expressed frustration with those who pressured him on both sides of the issue.

“Some of those in the religious community who support this bill have resorted to insults that question my moral convictions and my character. Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state,” he said. “I do not respond well to insults or threats.”

“Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people. Our cities and countryside are populated with people who worship God in a myriad of ways and in very diverse settings. Our people work side-by-side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way,” Deal stated. “For that reason, I will veto HB 757.”

Deal attends First Baptist Church of Gainesville.


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  • Herb Planter

    God’s law > all

    • Jolanda Tiellemans

      Maybe in your world. But not in the real world.

      • Ken M

        Lesbians live in a tiny world, and it smells like dead fish.

        • Jolanda Tiellemans

          Oh look someone else who thinks he knows me better then I know myself. Yep, now I’m convinced, you Christians are psychic. Maybe you can help me, I lost something.

          • Ken M

            You lost your mind 60 years ago, you stinking assho/e.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            Oh, so you think you are a psychic? Got it.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            And, changed your comment twice? Why?

    • Bezukhov

      The Second Commandment says I’m not to make a Graven Image and worship it. The First Amendment says I can.

  • SSGT_Randolph

    Let not your heart be troubled. Anti-gay bigots in Georgia are still free to discriminate against the gay community because there is no law in place that says they can’t.

    • Luke Sulla

      Does that include pearl clutching?

  • [email protected]

    To be clear no one had a problem with the content of the pastor protection part other then the fact that said protections already existed and the bill implied falsely that those pastors were at risk of being forced to participate in same-sex weddings when that was not at all true. the bigger problem was the idea that creating a special right to discriminate against gay people somehow constitutes “religious liberty”. so the headline here is rather misleading. the protections in this bill already existed elsewhere so the veto did not prevent those protections from taking place becasue they already exist nor were those re-stated protections the reason for the veto. the reason for the veto was the expanded special carve out for discrimination, the part that supporters of the legislation wanted to pretend was not part of the bill.

  • Max

    He must have some skeletons in his own closet and some degenerate threatened to out him.

    The Baptists should kick him all the way to the state line. What a vile man, no convictions at all.

  • Guest

    The First Amendment Act of Georgia mandates that “[g]overnment shall not take any discriminatory action against wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes, speaks or acts in accordance with a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

    And no government can give special legal status, for or against, a particular religious belief or practice. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled on that in 1993 in a 9-0 ruling where a city tried to make it impractical for a church to buy goats for slaughter they planned to use for religious sacrifice.

    You can’t open the Pandora’s Box of religious discrimination just a little bit, or just for the things one particular belief wants. Either the lid is shut or open all the way and if every person can’t think of ways legal religious discrimination in a public offer won’t someday come and bite them on the rear then they aren’t thinking very hard.

  • Brad F

    Most politicians’ religion is no more than lip deep. People with power have trouble believing there is Someone bigger than them. Let him make his excuses to God at the Last Judgment and see how that works out.

  • robertzaccour

    Why do I get the feeling that gays are going to go to Christian churches for marriage just to intentionally stir up trouble?

    • Michael C

      Perhaps you feel this way because you’ve allowed yourself to be ignorant of U.S. history and law. I would recommend research and study on the subject of religious protections as provided by the Constitution of the United States.

      • John_33

        There have been some activists who have suggested going after churches by removing tax exemptions for all religions in the US. I understand that this is not your position, but there are some who are upset with Christians for opposing homosexuality and want to punish them.

        • Michael C

          No religion is beyond critique. Even those who supposedly hold the same beliefs have sectarian differences. The issue of tax exemption is complex.

          Do you believe that a church that denies rights and services on the basis of race deserves tax exemption?

          Personally speaking, I do.

          Do you believe that a church that acts as a political agency with the purpose of electing specific political candidates deserves tax exemption?

          Personally speaking, I do not.

          It seems your interest is in off-topic conversation. Neat. Ask away.

        • Luke Sulla

          They won’t stop with tax exemptions. Next thing they will be rearranging the furniture.

      • Slidellman4life

        That was not what he was asking. Can you actually answer it without the intentional sidesteps?

        • Guest

          hmmm he did answer it, the person ‘feels’ that way because he doesn’t understand the law.

          • Slidellman4life

            No he didn’t. It was a sidestep and he will not be allowed to get away with it whether you defend his intellectual dishonesty or not.

          • Guest

            Hmmm I think its less’ intellectual dishonesty’ and more a reading comprehension problem on your part.

            What answer are you looking for? There is no risk – a church pastor infamously refused to marry an interracial couple a year or so ago, and even for something like race there was and could be no successful legal action. No one can be forced to perform a religious rite by the government – there couldn’t even be a law that allowed it as per the first amendment.

          • Slidellman4life

            Mason’s Second Law.

          • Guest

            An internet search only shows up Mason University’s second year law class. I would guess it means something else to you?

            Again, Robert asked:
            Why do I get the feeling that gays are going to go to Christian churches for marriage just to intentionally stir up trouble?

            Micheal replied Perhaps you feel this way because you’ve allowed yourself to be ignorant of U.S. history and law. i.e., that they had this feeling because they don’t know enough – if it was going to happen it would have happened already in the US since gays have always been able to religiously marry – I attended my first same sex religious wedding in the late 1970s. Worry about something that has never happened even though it could have for decades is commonly called ‘unbiased paranoia’.

            What do you call worrying about something that could have happened for years but hasn’t and there is no constitutional way it could legitimately be an issue in the future?

          • Slidellman4life

            Mason’s Second Law: In any debate regarding homosexuality, sooner or later someone will compare sexual behavior to skin color.

          • Guest

            No wonder google doesn’t recognize it then. If a false comparison – race ≠ skin color and homosexuality – a kind of sexual orientation ≠ sexual behavior.

          • Slidellman4life

            And you have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Guest

            Actually I do.

          • Slidellman4life

            Actually, you do not. There is no such thing as “sexual orientation.” I know, you are going to say homosexuals, etc are “born that way” but that’s an old strawman that was destroyed years ago, and so will not be entertained here.

            And your “race” is defined by your skin color. Red, yellow, black, white and brown.

            If you are going to talk about how things do not equal others, bear in mind that intellectual dishonesty does not equal knowledge. I stand by my original statement.

            Have a nice day.

          • Guest

            Ah you don’t understand what sexual orientation is – its a description of the orientation of the two sexes involved in an attraction – same different, same & different, and none at all. Its a term for describing the different states the attraction can have based on the quality of sex.

            So yes, there is sexual orientation and doesn’t matter if the individual’s sexual orientation changes day to day – its still a civil rights quality no matter what it is on a Wednesday. Just like religion.

          • Slidellman4life

            Ah you don’t understand what sexual orientation is

            I understand it is a myth created by people within the LGBTQW community to justify the demand of acceptance and special treatment.

            But I am not in the market for the horse manure they are selling. It is sexual behavior that is biologically and morally wrong. Period.

            Time to move on, Guest.

          • Guest

            And so you aren’t here for a discussion at all…. I suspected as much.

            Take care, time for you to just leave if you aren’t open to discussion.

          • Slidellman4life

            I am not going anywhere. I am not the one with the problem.

          • Guest

            Other than you think you can ‘fiat’ away a recognized term and civil right. That would seem to be objectively a problem in a forum that is for discussion. I guess I could just ‘fiat’ you away by ignoring you from now on… sounds like a plan.

            Take care.

          • Slidellman4life

            The only people who believe sexual behavior is a civil right are those who are morally retarded.

    • Slidellman4life

      Because history has shown them to do exactly that with individuals and businesses.

    • kirk

      They are using the same tactic that feminists used in the 1970s and 1980s, destroy the churches from within. They are not Christians, they don’t even believe in God. Where they dominate, in the liberal churches, membership has sunk like a rock. In the year following the Lutheran Church’s ordination of gays, they lost a half-million members – half-million members (and donors) in one year. That is unprecedented in the history of Christianity. And the liberals don’t care. The point was to drive the Christians away. As long as these apostate churches continue to exist (which won’t be much longer, based on their trends), they have a platform so they can say “We are the REAL Christians, and we condone sexual deviancy.” They’ll keep on saying that until their membership is reduced to ten, but they are proud of what has happened: they drove the Christians away, leaving no one to stand in the way of their agenda. Most left-wing churches are a coalition of “gays’n’grays,” and neither group is producing children. By 2030, the left-wing churches will be extinct. They will blame the secularization of the culture, but the real cause is the secularization of the church. On the plus side, lots of churches like my own have welcomed the “faith exiles” from the liberal churches. Their loss is our gain.

    • Peter Leh

      “Why do I get the feeling that gays are going to go to Christian churches for marriage just to intentionally stir up trouble?”

      the law if for all to read. no need to make silly statements.

  • John_33

    The truth is that this is not as hard as people make it out. All Christians want is for the courts to recognize this issue as a religious rights issue. Just as specific Christian groups had qualms with the draft, so do Christians today have qualms with serving same-sex ceremonies. The same rights of conscientious objectors should apply to these Christians in this circumstance as well. These Christians have no problem with serving gays, only with serving the ceremonies.

    • Jalapeno

      Pastors are already perfectly free to not do any ceremonies they do not want to do.

      There’s no danger of that changing any time soon.

      • John_33

        That is true that pastors are exempt, but the right to conscientiously object applied to all Christians and not to pastors only. That is what I’m seeking for.

        • Jalapeno

          Why?

          If you have a problem with doing weddings for people you don’t think should be getting married, then you probably shouldn’t open up a shop that does weddings.

          Similarly, if you can’t handle the idea of your wedding cakes going to a gay couple, then you shouldn’t open up a shop that sells wedding cakes.

          Your religion doesn’t grant you an exception to that.

          • John_33

            Sorry, but characterizing it as “doing weddings for people you don’t think should be getting married” is deeply offensive. This is a religious issue, not an opinion, and mischaracterizing it that way does injustice to your side and hurts your causes because you are talking right past us.

          • Jalapeno

            That’s literally what it is.

            The opinion might be BECAUSE of the religious beliefs, but it still comes down to them effectively saying “I don’t think these people should be getting married”.

            Are you seriously so sensitive that you can’t stand the idea that someone would simply describe your stance instead of pandering? What do you expect people to say?

            “Because their completely valid beliefs correctly say that homosexuals should not be married because the bible says so…”

          • John_33

            I’m sorry, but if you can’t take phrase the other side’s arguments correctly, then you are not able to discuss this issue without bias.

          • Jalapeno

            I did phrase it correctly.

            Some people think that gay people should not get married. It is their own thought..their own thought might be religiously motivated but it IS still an opinion, and it is not automatically worth more than any other opinion.

          • John_33

            Sorry, but that is not the issue. I honestly urge you to look at this from the Christian’s perspective since you do not know the issue. I can provide you with materials if you would like.

          • Jalapeno

            I do know the issue.

            Some people have a religiously motivated belief that either gay people shouldn’t get married, or that any marriage that isn’t validated by their religion is not a real marriage.

            Other people have a religiously motivated belief that gay marriage is perfectly acceptable and to go against it is to go against Gods plan.

            It’s not complicated. You obviously want to think that it’s some form of special opinion, but it’s just a persons beliefs. It may be more important to THEM, but it’s not more important to everyone else.

          • John_33

            No, you obviously do not know the issue.

          • Jalapeno

            Let me guess…

            You think that, thanks to your religious views, gay people shouldn’t get married and/or validating that marriage is some form of badness?

          • John_33

            That’s not the issue. I can provide you with materials if you wish, but your replies show that you are not completely grasping the other side.

          • Jalapeno

            Sure, whatever you say.

            I’m sure your wonderful views that are apparently much more important than OTHER peoples religious views and OTHER peoples opinions are just so complicated that they can’t be explained without having to resort to third parties.

            In the meantime, you should probably work on understanding that other people have views that disagree with yours and maybe work on expecting people to pander to you a bit less.

          • John_33

            You know, your reply is actually appropriate directed to you. How can you oppose our side if you don’t even understand it?

          • Jalapeno

            One..I do understand it. It’s not a complicated view.

            Two..I couldn’t care less what other peoples beliefs are. I only care if they try to dictate how the laws function as a result of those beliefs, or if they try to expect me to use special words to talk to them just so they don’t get offended.

          • John_33

            You cannot properly understand any issue unless you carefully respect the arguments of the other side. But I see you have made up your mind, so I will have to leave it here.

          • Jalapeno

            I respect the beliefs, I respect the arguments.

            I do not treat any particular belief as special, especially one that someone can’t actually explain in their own words.

            Oh well though, good luck living in your little bubble of validation.

          • Guest

            I am a Christian, no Christian would make an offer to everyone in a nation where everyone has a right to not share their religion and then religiously discriminate against those that respond – it would be unethical, immoral, illegal, unAmerican and unChristian.

            If I couldn’t, in good conscience, sell something to the public as the law requires I wouldn’t offer to the public in the first place. There are other business models suited for those that can only sell something to a subset of the general population.

          • John_33

            You are using Christianity to justify discrimination against Christians to punish them. No Christian would insist on punishing Christians for their religious beliefs. Where is your love for your neighbor?

          • Guest

            They aren’t being discriminated against – they freely invited the public to come buy from them knowing full well that each responding customer has a right to not share their beliefs.

            As the late Justice Scalia put it ‘everyone has a right to religious conscience they don’t have a right to any particular job’.

            A job is an ‘of this world’ thing, if a Christian couldn’t run a business in good conscience legally they’d either figure out how to run it legally or pick another business.

            I do love my neighbors and the customers are them also – someone inviting them and then rejecting them is very unneighborly and the person doing it should stop.

          • John_33

            You are saying that Christians must be fined by the government, and you support seeing these people, your brothers and sisters in the Lord, according to you, lose their businesses and become poorer. I find that hard to believe that your position is that of love when you support discrimination against them.

          • Guest

            I support all criminals paying their just due especially when the crime is obvious and willful. I would strongly advise them to obey the law as they were told in Romans and to take responsibility of balancing their beliefs with the respect for the beliefs of others.

          • acontraryview

            So than, based upon your criteria, since disallowing two citizens of the same gender from entering into civil marriage is most certainly discrimination and harms those individuals financially, you support allowing two citizens of the same gender entering into civil marriage, correct?

          • John_33

            No because I don’t support the redefinition of marriage.

          • acontraryview

            So you support discrimination and harming others as a result. To quote you: “I find that hard to believe that your position is that of love when you support discrimination against them.”

            Why are you against allowing two citizens of the same gender to enter into civil marriage?

          • John_33

            If those who speak out against discrimination are really against it, then they will also support Christians whose religious beliefs are being discriminated against.

          • acontraryview

            Christian religious beliefs are NOT being discriminated against. The law applies to all people of all beliefs as well as those who hold to no particular belief. All are subject to the same laws. Christians are not singled out.

            Now, back to my question: Why are you against allowing two citizens of the same gender to enter into civil marriage?

          • John_33

            You’re missing the point. Laws that apply to everyone can be discriminatory because they can single out individual groups in effect. It goes back to my example of mandating that every deli carry ham. It would infringe on Jewish business owners since they can’t deal with non-kosher food according to their religion.

          • acontraryview

            “Laws that apply to everyone can be discriminatory because they can single out individual groups in effect.”

            How is it possible for a law to apply to everyone and at the same time single out individual groups? By definition, a law that applies to everyone does NOT single out individual groups, as it applies to everyone.

            “It would infringe on Jewish business owners since they can’t deal with non-kosher food according to their religion.”

            Again, your example is a poor one as there would be no basis for creating a law that requires businesses to carry certain items. However, if such a law existed, then Jews who are kosher shouldn’t open a deli. In the same sense that since it is illegal to discriminate based upon religious belief, a business owner who holds to the religious belief that people should only marry within the same religion should not offer wedding services or products.

            Now, back to my question: Why are you against allowing two citizens of the same gender to enter into civil marriage?

          • John_33

            If you think it’s not discrimination to prohibit observant Jews from opening delis, then we cannot have this conversation.

          • acontraryview

            “If you think it’s not discrimination to prohibit observant Jews from opening delis, then we cannot have this conversation.”

            I don’t think that nor did I ever say anything to that effect.

            Now, back to my questions, which you fail to answer:

            How is it possible for a law to apply to everyone and at the same time single out individual groups?

            Why are you against allowing two citizens of the same gender to enter into civil marriage?

          • John_33

            Actually, I think the first question that needs to be answered is why should Christians be discriminated against.

          • acontraryview

            They aren’t. There is nothing that others are allowed to do that Christians are not. Therefore, they are not being discriminated against.

            So, all ask again: Why are you against allowing two citizens of the same gender to enter into civil marriage?

          • John_33

            Didn’t answer my question.

          • acontraryview

            Yes, I did. I said: “They aren’t”.

            Now, back to my question which you continue to fail to answer: Why are you against allowing two citizens of the same gender to enter into civil marriage?

          • John_33

            That’s skirting the issue by denying it.

          • acontraryview

            “They are being discriminated against since the laws are negatively impacting Christian business owners due to their religious beliefs.”

            That is not the definition of discrimination. That would be like saying that a person who holds to the religious belief that the races should not mix, turns away an interracial couple, and is held accountable for that, is being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. That is not the definition of discrimination.

            Further, the issue is not their religious beliefs. They are free to hold to whatever religious beliefs they care to. The issue is withholding the provision of a product or service. The decision to open a business is a choice. The decision as to what products and services the business will offer is a choice. No person is required to open a business and no person is required to offer certain products and services.

            “As for why I am opposed to same-sex ‘marriage,’ I have answered that before.”

            You have not provided me with an answer to that question.

    • Guest

      hiw do you draw a line once a right to religious discrimination has been recognized? If you can discriminate against customers because they are having a party for a marriage consistent with their faith in one situation why not another? A church a few years ago made headlines for refusing a racially mixed wedding, should a business of a parishioner be able to do the same?

      if you can do it for a marriage why not for another ritual? Refuse a family at a restaurant because the pray at the table? Charge them lower prices because they’ll pray to Mecca?

      How will there be ‘just a little bit’ of religious discrimination once a right to religious discrimination is recognized?

      • John_33

        I’m not looking for the right to religiously discriminate. I’m looking to protect the religious from discrimination, which is already occurring. Why should Christians be forced to be discriminated against and be forced to violate their conscience? I don’t want any side to be discriminated against. The religious rights and beliefs of Christians should be respected.

        • Guest

          No, this is about a business wanting to invite everyone to come and buy their wares and then telling one of the responding customers that their beliefs about weddings are incorrect and refusing them because of those beliefs and the weddings people with those beliefs have – that is religious discrimination by the business.

          Example: Southern Baptist asks the public to come buy wedding cakes. A Lutheran couple is going to have a wedding for themselves and they are both the same sex, completely consistent with their beliefs. If the business is going to make good on their offer regardless of the beliefs of their customers they would sell them the cake, but rejecting them because their beliefs allow them to do something that the business owners does not is religious discrimination.

          And yes, the beliefs of Christians should be respected, including the Lutheran customers.

          Don’t offer to sell something to the general public if they can’t sell them to people of all beliefs without religious discrimination is the lesson here.

          • John_33

            What about the rights of the Southern Baptist? Why should they be discriminated against? That’s deeply unfair on your part to support discrimination against Christians for their religious beliefs only in wishing to opt out of a ceremony that they view as violating their religious principles.

          • Guest

            The Southern Baptist invited the general public knowing that the responding customers had a right to their own beliefs.

            They ‘opt out’ by not offering to people who they know they can’t sell to. If they can only sell to people of certain beliefs then they need to find them first and make the offer of sale just to them.

            The general public has a constitutional right to their own faith.

          • John_33

            You are essentially saying that that Southern Baptist cannot be a business owner in that profession, which is highly discriminatory. This is where the religious rights of that Southern Baptist needs to be respected. It’s not about discriminating against gays, it’s about not discriminating against the religion of the Southern Baptist.

          • Guest

            No, I am not. The choice to religiously discriminate in a constitutionally religiously pluralistic nation is theirs, its up to them to do so legally.

            And there are ways to do so – as a private club as I described, or as a non-profit, both money making businesses that are allowed to use their right of freedom of association first and then make the offer of sale to those they have chosen to associate with.

            Asking to be able to invite everyone and then apply a religious test the responding customers must pass to actually buy the wares or services is religious discrimination, pure and simple. Anyone who can’t see how establishing such a ‘right’ would open Pandora’s Box to all kinds of evils just isn’t thinking very hard.

          • John_33

            There’s a way to legalize this without opening up a Pandora’s Box. I agree it could easily be done wrong, but with the example I provided above, it allows a legal framework to prevent such problems.

          • Guest

            No, currently there is no right to religious discrimination – there is no way to open Pandora’s box just a little, the lid is either open or closed (the whole point of the fable if you recall). Once a right to religious discrimination is established, even for the tiniest little thing, it will spread because, of course, there is a right to religiously discriminate now and if if they can for marriages they can for lodgings, if they can for lodging they can for employment, if they can for employment they can for virtually anything.

            Lets keep the lid closed. Just say ‘No’ to religious discrimination. Don’t make offers to the public that can’t really be sold to the public while respecting their civil rights.

          • John_33

            But what’s occurring now is discrimination against religious people. You are effectively saying that you are satisfied with Christians being closed out of owning businesses, being employees, being in positions of government. If we really want to say no to religious discrimination (i.e. discrimination against religion), then there ought to be a recognition for Christians on this issue so they aren’t discriminated against.

          • Guest

            Please, that’s like saying the Amish are prevented from being hackers, the choice is theirs to eschew technology, just as it is for these business owners to religiously discriminate, and because it is a 100% voluntary choice on their part its up to them to figure out a way to do so legally in a country where every member of the public has a constitutional right to NOT share the beliefs of the business owner.

            And when you say ‘recognition for Christians’ I hear a plea for special rights, the right to discriminate against someone because of their different beliefs in a public offer.

            Again, how would you limit that once the ‘right’ had been recognized?

          • John_33

            But the Amish are not being prevented from being hackers. They are freely allowed, but these Christians are being actively fined and threatened with legal punishments for running businesses that are in accord with their religious beliefs. It’s religious discrimination to try to stop them from having businesses. It’s not a special right, it’s simply recognizing that discrimination is being done against these Christians and it should be rectified. As to how we should fix it, this should be done through the courts, which can create a correct judicial rules that would prevent discrimination against them.

          • Guest

            And Southern Baptists are freely allowed to sell wedding services. If they can’t sell them to the public respecting their civil rights then they can as a private club or non-profit and sell them to just the people they have found that are acceptable to sell to.

            Again, ‘running a business that are in accord with their religious beliefs’ doesn’t mean they can put their beliefs above those they freely invite to come and buy their wares. Once they have decide to associate with them by advertising to them the customer’s own beliefs are just as important.

            Christians would sell to anyone they have invited to come buy, we are talking about odd individuals who’s beliefs don’t allow them to respect the customer’s civil rights.

            Again, there is no right to religious discrimination by a business making offers to the public and any customer coming can buy regardless of their beliefs, any religious test tossed their way bounces right of their constitutional right to their own beliefs.

            And again, what are the courts going to ‘fix’? Establish a right to religious discrimination in a public offer? It amazes me that you can’t see how dangerous that would be for people of every faith.

          • John_33

            And once again in response, the situation is currently deeply imbalanced with Christians being religiously discriminated against. You don’t fix one kind of discrimination by discriminating against another group of people. That’s just making the problem worse. You fix it, and this is where the courts come in to stop the discrimination that is occurring against Christians.

          • Guest

            No, they aren’t being discriminated against, they invited the general public to come buy their wares of their own free will knowing full well that each person has a constitutional right to their own beliefs. They wouldn’t have made the invitation if they weren’t planning on legally fulfilling it.

            No discrimination at all, they have no right to invite everyone and then refuse some because they don’t like their beliefs.

          • John_33

            Of course they are being discriminated against. You know full well that these Christians are being religiously discriminated against by being fined and taken to court against their will as they try to run their businesses in peace. This is wrong, and it must stop.

          • Guest

            No, the customer’s are being religiously discriminated against. They accepted an invitation and then were rejected because of their beliefs. The business is the discriminator, not the customer.

          • John_33

            And yet by arguing that line, you are discriminating against the Christian who is holding to his religion.

          • Guest

            Not at all – no one is forcing anyone to sell something they can’t sell both in good conscience and legally. No discrimination, everyone is expect to sell their wares and services to the public regardless of the customer’s beliefs.

          • Peter Leh

            BUS 101. John.

            Learn it. love it. live it

            no one but the business owners are to blame.

          • acontraryview

            You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to discriminate. If people of other religions were allowed to turn away customers based on their religious beliefs, but Christians were not, that WOULD be discrimination against Christians. That, however, is not the case. NO business owner is allowed to discriminate on the basis of religious belief, therefore there is no discrimination against Christians. All business owners, regardless of religious belief, are held accountable for violating anti-discrimination laws. Not just Christian business owners.

            Here’s the issue with using religious belief as a basis for discrimination. Religious belief is very personal. As such, there is no way to determine the validity of a stated religious belief. Given that, a business owner would be free to discriminate in any way they cared to by simply stating that it is their firmly held religious belief to not serve a particular customer. For instance, a business owner could state that it was against his religious belief that people of different races should marry. Or that people of different religious faiths should marry. Or that anyone who was not taking their vows before the Christian god should not be marrying. The possibilities are endless and thus anti-discrimination would be meaningless.

          • John_33

            What is occurring now would be similar to a law stating that all businesses must serve non-kosher food and then going after Jewish delis. That would be discriminatory against people of the Jewish faith, and what is happening now is discriminatory against Christians.

          • acontraryview

            “What is occurring now would be similar to a law stating that all businesses must serve non-kosher food and then going after Jewish delis.”

            No, that would not be similar to what is happening now. Businesses are free to choose what products they will offer.

            “what is happening now is discriminatory against Christians.”

            Discrimination occurs when a person (or group) is singled out and not allowed to do something that others are allowed to do. That is not the case here. NO business is allowed to operate in a way which violates non-discrimination laws. ANY business owner would be held accountable for violating such laws. Christians are not being singled out. There is no discrimination.

          • John_33

            There is indeed discrimination because the laws are infringing on longstanding Christian beliefs. It’s obviously discrimination.

          • acontraryview

            I’m unclear as to why you are having such a difficult time understanding what it means to discriminate. Discrimination occurs when one group is prohibited from doing something that other groups are allowed to do.

            Please, tell me, what is it that Christian business owners are not allowed to do regarding the provision of services that others are allowed to do? How are they being singled out versus other groups?

          • John_33

            No, discrimination can also occur when one group is mandated to do something it cannot do. For example, forcing every business owner to serve non-kosher food would be discriminatory against Jewish business owners since they cannot do that according to their religion. The fact that the law applies to everyone equally doesn’t change that such a law would be discriminatory against Jewish business owners. It’s the same here with Christians. They are being discriminated against because this is something they cannot do according to their religion.

          • acontraryview

            “No, discrimination can also occur when one group is mandated to do something it cannot do.”

            No, that is not discrimination. Discrimination is when one group is kept from doing something that others are allowed to do. No one is “mandated” to do something in this instance. They are free to make decisions about what products and services they will offer and which they won’t.

            If we apply your logic, if a business owner beliefs that the races should not mix, but is not allowed to turn down away an interracial couple, the business owner is a victim of discrimination. That is simply not true.

            “They are being discriminated against because this is something they cannot do according to their religion.”

            No, they are not being discriminated against. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that if individuals are not allowed to do whatever they care to even if that violates the law, they are being discriminated against. That is not the case. Again, and I have no idea why this is such a hard concept for your to understand, discrimination is when one group is kept from doing something that others are allowed to do. Nothing more.

          • John_33

            Sorry, but you already admitted that you don’t believe it would be discrimination to force Jewish business owners to serve non-kosher products. You are in no position to tell others what constitutes discrimination when you hold a position like that.

          • acontraryview

            “Sorry, but you have already admitted that you don’t believe it would be discrimination to force Jewish business owners to serve non-kosher products.”

            I have stated very clearly that it would be unconstitutional to force a business owner to carry a certain product or offer a certain service.

            On the other hand, you have been quite clear that you do not believe it is discrimination for a business owner to offer a service to one person, but then refuse that service to a different person, even though that is clearly discriminatory.

          • John_33

            You have stated that it would not be discriminatory to force all deli owners (including Jewish business owners) to serve non-kosher food. Let me ask this question, if circumcision was banned in the USA, would that be discriminatory against the Jewish population?

          • acontraryview

            “You have stated that it would not be discriminatory to force all deli owners (including Jewish business owners) to serve non-kosher food. ”

            I have stated that requiring a business to offer a particular product or service would be unconstitutional.

            “Let me ask this question, if circumcision was banned in the USA, would that be discriminatory against the Jewish population?”

            Again, you are putting forth a question that is not a possible reality, as such action would be unconstitutional. Put forth a possible action and ask your question and I’ll be happy to answer it.

          • John_33

            I wasn’t asking about whether it was legal. I’m asking if you believe it would be discriminatory or not.

          • acontraryview

            “I wasn’t asking about whether it was legal.”

            If it would violate the constitution, then it cannot exist as law. If it cannot exist, then it cannot be discriminatory.

            Again, you are putting forth a question that is not a possible reality, as such action would be unconstitutional. You might as well ask: “If it was made legal to kill Muslims, would that be discrimination against Muslims?” The question is absurd as it is not possible under our constitution for such a law to be put into place. Put forth a possible action and ask your question and I’ll be happy to answer it.

          • John_33

            Yes, it would be discriminatory against Muslims. Why can’t you answer my questions if the other things are discriminatory or not?

          • acontraryview

            You have failed to provide any examples that would be legally allowed under our Constitution. There is no point to addressing hypotheticals that cannot exist.

            Why do you feel it is reasonable to confront me about not answering your questions when you have failed to answer mine?

    • acontraryview

      “All Christians want is for the courts to recognize this issue as a religious rights issue.”

      That argument has already worked its way through the courts. Since anti-discrimination laws apply to all businesses, regardless of the religious belief or lack thereof, of the owner, they are not an infringement upon religious rights. There is no religious right to discriminate in the provision of services.

      “Just as specific Christian groups had qualms with the draft, so do Christians today have qualms with serving same-sex ceremonies.”

      It’s a bit of a stretch to compare an individual being drafted, which was not a choice, to kill people and a business serving the public, which is a choice, providing services for a same-gender wedding ceremony, don’t you think?

      • John_33

        Courts can change their minds, and given enough time, I believe they will. As for comparing the draft to this case, I agree that they are not completely the same, but I see it from the other perspective. If we can afford to let Christians refuse to fight to save the country and its laws from certain defeat due to their religious beliefs, then we can afford to let them not bake a cake due to their religious beliefs. I don’t want discrimination; I want to stop discrimination already occurring against Christians with deeply held religious views.

        • Peter Leh

          John those protections already exist.

          I addition comparing conscientious objection to owning a business open to the public is apples and oranges.

          The government does not “force” one to open a business. If you choose to open one to the public you follow the requirements detailed in the secretary of state website.

          hope that helps. 🙂

        • acontraryview

          Yes, courts can rule differently in the future than they have in the past. With that said, the legal foundation that anti-discrimination laws apply to all business, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof, is very strong. It is highly doubtful that a future court would rule that religious belief is a basis upon which a business owner is justified in discriminating.

          “I want to stop discrimination already occurring against Christians with deeply held religious views.”

          I would suggest you look up the definition of the word “discrimination”. Christians are not being discriminated against. In order for discrimination to occur, one group would have to be allowed to do something while another group, in this case Christians, were NOT allowed to do something. That is not the case. Christians are not being discriminated against.

          • John_33

            Christians are being discriminated against because they are being punished for their religious beliefs. That’s discrimination.

          • acontraryview

            No, they are not being punished for their religious beliefs. Christians, as with all citizens, are allowed to hold to whatever religious beliefs they care to. Some Christians are being punished for violating anti-discrimination laws. Do you believe that Christians should be exempt from laws and should be able to violate the law without being held accountable?

            Again, John, if people of other religions, or no religions, were allowed to do something, but Christians were not, then that would be discrimination. That, however, is not the case. Anti-discrimination laws apply to ALL business owners, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof. Christians are not being singled out. Therefore there is no discrimination.

          • John_33

            The logic doesn’t follow. If all businesses were required to serve non-kosher food, it would apply to all businesses, but it would infringe on Jewish business owners because of their religious beliefs. The same is happening here with Christians. Those who speak the loudest against discrimination demonstrate that they don’t care when their policies discriminate against others.

          • acontraryview

            “If all businesses were required to serve non-kosher food, it would apply to all businesses, but it would infringe on Jewish business owners because of their religious beliefs.”

            First, there no basis under which a law could be passed which required that all businesses of a certain nature are required to serve a certain product. Such a law would be unconstitutional. If you are going to present an example that you believe is similar, then present one that could actually occur.

            Second, even if such a law did exist, it would not infringe on anyone’s religious beliefs. Jewish people would still be allowed to hold to whatever beliefs they care to. In addition, they are free to not operate a deli.

            You seem to be under the mistaken impression that any law that requires a business owner to operate in a way which is contrary to their religious beliefs is discriminatory. That is not the case. For example, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a customer’s religious belief. If a business owner had a sincerely held religious belief that two people of different religions should not marry, is it discrimination that the business owner is not allowed to turn away a mixed-religion couple?

            “they don’t care when their policies discriminate against others.”

            There is no discrimination. All business owners are required to abide by the law. No religion is being singled out.

          • John_33

            You hit my point on the head. You don’t believe that mandating that deli owners serve non-kosher food is discriminatory against Jewish business owners. You are completely wrong. I suggest you look at how religious liberty laws were developed in the first place. A good example is how Quakers were treated in Europe. Rulers passed laws mandating that everyone give an oath to serve them (knowing that Quakers could not do it). Quakers were unjustly punished for refusing.

            In early Christendom, Roman Emperors mandating that everyone must sacrifice to their gods knowing that Christians could not do it. They unjustly punished Christians for refusing to comply. It’s a perversion of the law to use it as a weapon against specific groups of people. What’s happening today is unjustly targeting Christians precisely because Christians cannot comply.

          • acontraryview

            “You don’t believe that mandating that deli owners serve non-kosher food is discriminatory against Jewish business owners. ”

            Yes I do believe that, because it’s not. You seem to be under the mistaken belief that any law that requires that those who CHOOSE to open a business and then are required to operate in a certain manner is an example of discrimination against that person. You are mistaken. Is it discrimination against a business owner who believes that the races should not mix to be subject to a law that says you can’t deny service on the basis of race?

            “A good example is how Quakers were treated in Europe.”

            In your example the Quakers had no choice. Owning a business is a choice. What products and services the business offers is a choice. So, no, that is not a good example. Nor is your example of sacrifice in Roman times.

            “What’s happening today is unjustly targeting Christians precisely because Christians cannot comply.”

            Given that over 70% of citizens in the US identify as Christian and the vast majority of those individuals have no issues with providing such services, it is unreasonable to say that Christians, as a group, are being targeted.

            What you have is a small number of people who are attempting to use their religious beliefs as a basis for discrimination. Yet, in legal hearings, NONE have said that they apply those beliefs across the board. No baker, for instance, has ever said that they refuse orders for all events involving biblical sin. NONE has stated that they refuse orders for wedding cakes if either of the couple has been divorced for reasons other than adultery. NONE has said they refuse orders for an engagement party cake if the couple is having sexual relations. NONE has said that they refuse orders for a baby shower cake if the mother-to-be is unmarried. NONE has said that they refuse orders for wedding cakes if the ceremony is not Christian and thus the couple is worshipping a god other than the Christian god. ALL of the instances involve biblical sin, yet NONE are refused.

            There’s a word for that. It’s hypocrisy.

          • John_33

            “Given that over 70% of citizens in the US identify as Christian and the vast majority of those individuals have no issues with providing such services, it is unreasonable to say that Christians, as a group, are being targeted.”

            That’s what they said about the Quakers. In other words, you are using the same lines that persecutors of before used.

            This is quite simple. People don’t lose their rights the moment they open up a business. Jewish business owners can keep kosher, and Christians can follow their religion. To not do that is to economically discriminate against them. That’s deeply wrong, but I can’t say I’m surprised that you support discrimination.

          • acontraryview

            “That’s what they said about the Quakers.”

            Please cite who said that about the Quakers.

            “People don’t lose their rights the moment they open up a business.”

            You are correct. There is not, however, a right to choose who you will serve based upon religious belief.

            “Jewish business owners can keep kosher, and Christians can follow their religion.”

            You are comparing apples and oranges. In the case of the Jewish business owner, they are choosing not to offer certain products. In the case of the Christian business owner, they are choosing WHO they will serve.

            “That’s deeply wrong, but I can’t say I’m surprised that you support discrimination.”

            Please cite where I have stated that I support discrimination. You, on the other hand, have been very clear that you support discrimination.

          • John_33

            Christians are also choosing to not offer certain products — same-sex wedding cakes.

          • John_33

            They justified persecution against Quakers by claiming they weren’t Christians.

            https :// books (dot) google (dot) ca/books?id=jrpjAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA199&lpg=PA199&dq=quaker+heretic+oath&source=bl&ots=zl8_2c30dN&sig=IzhL8-ok32SLz2oL-r0vLO3I55E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpjKmYsPPLAhVmuoMKHdFVDoEQ6AEIHjAB#v=onepage&q=quaker&f=false

            Christians are also choosing to not offer certain products — same-sex wedding cakes.

          • acontraryview

            How does a same-sex wedding cake differ from an opposite-sex wedding cake?

          • John_33

            It’s made for same-sex weddings. It goes against the beliefs of these Christian to offer that.

          • acontraryview

            So you can’t explain how a same-sex wedding cake would differ from an opposite-sex wedding cake. Got it. Thanks.

            They offer wedding cakes. in some locations in the US, although very few, they are not legally allowed to discriminate in the provision of a product they offer for sale based upon the sexuality of the customer.

          • John_33

            On the contrary, this is discrimination against the religion of the owner.

          • acontraryview

            What are Christians not allowed to do that others are allowed to do?

  • acontraryview

    The Governor makes decisions based upon the overall impact to the state. Clearly, it is not in the best interests of the state of Georgia to legalize discrimination. The Governor made the right call.

  • darh477

    If a Christian yawns or blinks, the usual paranoiacs will start screaming “Discrimination!”

  • Peter Leh

    “The Southern Baptist-identifying governor of Georgia has vetoed a
    religious liberty bill that provided conscience protections for pastors
    and non-profit faith-based organizations, stating that there is no need
    for such legislation, and that the protections provided under the First
    Amendment are sufficient.”

    It is what I have been saying all along. The Bill was window dressing…. no substance and rhetorical

  • Peridot Path

    It is amazing how degraded this nation has become toward
    God , His servants and His Word. As Jesus said , you cannot
    serve God and money. May Christians stand for God , even if
    they are opposed by the many , the money and the powerful.

    • Patrick Van Der Ven

      Dear PP,
      So lovely to see you since our last tête-à-tête. I could almost hear amazing disgrace playing in the background. Let us be clear here: the constitution protects religious institutions from performing same sex marriages. Heavens you do not have marry people of colour if you don’t want. So what would the Georgian law achieved? Nothing!!! The constitution of the USA trumps state law. The act was symbolic and the veto was symbolic.

      Well the churches of the Evangelicals has become corrupted by politics and ceased being chairitable organisations and now they political organisations so let them be taxed. Never met a poor pastor. How much does Franklin Graham make oh, $1.2 million. Plus all of those speaking engagement and tours. “As Jesus said , you cannot
      serve God and money”. What happened in Georgia made good sense. Why impoverish a state because of a bad law or an unjust law. It is truly amazing how the US is becoming a much more loving, equal and freer society since the religious right has diminished into a rump. My prayer is that you will let Jesus into church one day.

      • Peridot Path

        “Amazing Grace” is for those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb ,
        and you are not washed in His blood. Praise the Name of Jesus , my Savior
        and Lord.

        • Patrick Van Der Ven

          Oh dear PP, you should have been a comedian. You have perverted the very concept of Christianity and made it a political movement. The very concept of your faith is based on an error in the translation of a conversation in Aramaic between Nicodemus and Christ. The problem is Christ is not the author of your heresy but He who was cast out of heaven. I am enjoying watching right wing fundamentalism fade away and being deplored for what it is: an heresy filled with hate. You are an intellectual midget, who can not defend the indefensible.

          • Peridot Path

            God Almighty made marriage between a man & a woman .
            Jesus the Christ described marriage between a man & a woman.
            Anyone that contradicts this is not abiding by His Word nor in His
            Spirit of Truth . And if someone teaches that another
            form of marriage is acceptable to God , they will not
            receive everlasting life , for that is what Christ said.
            He said that the sexually immoral will not receive
            eternal life , and neither will those who remove His teachings
            from His Word , as He said in Revelation.
            Thanks for the opportunity to preach the truth , yet again. 🙂
            God watches over His Word to perform it , not the words of the
            perverse nor the politically correct , of which you have plenty
            of acquaintance with.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Really, wasn’t he talking about divorce and then in wonderful Aramaic. Then continuing on in the marriage theme he said myhemne, which is was universally accepted as homosexuals were born gay. Matthew 19:1-12.

            Matthew 19:1-12New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            Concerning Divorce

            19 When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; 2 and [a]large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.

            3 Some Pharisees came to [b]Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to [c]divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7 They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to [d]divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever [e]divorces his wife, except for [f]immorality, and marries another woman [g]commits adultery[h].”

            10 The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” The Greek interpretation of myhemne is incorrect in its translation to English. It meant the trusted one.

          • Charles

            Error? What error? What in the world are you talking about? The Word eunuchs is never associated with Homosexuality (Abusers of mankind with themselves).. You want to live a lie, go right on ahead and do it.. But don’t claim this nonsense…

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Evangelical Protestantism is a heresy and is an apostate church built
            on a mound of lies. It is a 19th construct . There are but two
            references in the bible to being born again or above and one is purely a
            conversation between Christ and Nicodemus, referring Nicodemus himself
            and not salvation for all of humankind. Have you ever wondered if it
            was so imperative why it is not mentioned anywhere else in the bible
            save Peter. That it was not an ideology of the Church until a
            marvellous reinterpretation of scripture?

            The problem arises from
            the word play between Jesus and Nicodemus and the Greek ανωΘεν where
            Christ is speaking of above and Nicodemus is believing it to mean to
            mean being reborn from the womb. Further to add weight to this The New
            revised Standard version of the bible prefer the “above” translation.

            Evangelical
            Protestantism uses the phrase more as to polarise Christianity based
            upon and erroneous translation of scripture. In fact if anything it is
            politicisation of ring wing American Christianity.
            Haiven, in
            speaking of “born-agains”, refers to them as having “a type of
            intolerance”. She says, “The instant and thoughtless panaceas of
            born-again Christianity will be seen as a vast sanctuary by millions of
            North Americans.” She asks, “Is this sanctuary really a recruitment camp
            for right-wing movements? It would be niave to think otherwise.

            Doctrinally
            being ‘born again’ is unsound and heretical at best and Satanic at
            worst: there is no emphasis on being born again during the apostolic
            evangelisation of the earthy Church. Catholic commentator John F.
            McHugh notes, “Rebirth, and the commencement of this new life, are said
            to come about ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος, of water and spirit. This phrase
            (without the article), refers to a rebirth which the early Church
            regarded as taking place through baptism (1 Pet 1.3, 23; Tit 3.5.In Acts
            2:28 Peter specifically links Baptism to the ‘forgiveness of sins,’
            “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ
            for the forgiveness of sins . . .” Almost identical words are used by
            Jesus at the Last Supper stating that His blood of the New Covenant will
            be shed “for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28). These are also the
            exact words professed in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one baptism for
            the forgiveness of sins.

            The reformation of the 16th Century saw
            this verse as meaning full water baptism, total immersion. Let’s look
            at a few other stances on the matter:The Lutheran Church holds that it
            “thoroughly teaches that we are cleansed of our sins and born again and
            renewed in Holy Baptism by the Holy Ghost. But she also teaches that
            whoever is baptised must, though daily contrition and repentance,
            drown The Old Adam so that daily a new man come forth and arise who
            walks before God in righteousness and purity forever. She teaches that
            whoever lives in sins after his baptism has again lost the grace of
            baptism.” If we look at Calvinism it is total refutation of being born
            again “In Reformed theology, “regeneration precedes faith.”[34] Samuel
            Storms writes that “Calvinists insist that the sole cause of
            regeneration or being born again is the will of God. God first
            sovereignly and efficaciously regenerates, and only in consequence of
            that do we act. Therefore, the individual is passive in regeneration,
            neither preparing himself nor making himself receptive to what God will
            do. Regeneration is a change wrought in us by God, not an autonomous act
            performed by us for ourselves”.

            The concept of being “born again”
            only gains currency in Methodism, the “new birth is necessary for
            salvation because it marks the move toward holiness. That comes with
            faith. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, held that the
            New Birth “is that great change which God works in the soul when he
            brings it into life, when he raises it from the death of sin to the life
            of righteousness” (Works, vol. 2, pp. 193–194).The Articles of
            Religion, in Article XVII—Of Baptism, state that baptism is a “sign of
            regeneration or the new birth.” The Methodist Visitor in describing this
            doctrine, admonishes individuals: “‘Ye must be born again.’ Yield to
            God that He may perform this work in and for you. Admit Him to your
            heart. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’

            The
            quotation from the Gospel of John has raised some questions about the
            meaning and authenticity of the phrase “born again”. In the chapter,
            Nicodemus is puzzled and asks Jesus what he means by saying that “Ye
            must be born again”. He questions: “How can a man re-enter his mother’s
            womb?” Scholar Bart D. Ehrman says that this confusion is because in
            Greek (the language of the gospel) the word again is ambiguous. It might
            mean again or a second time or from above, which would explain
            Nicodemus’ confusion. However, the Jews at Jesus’ time were actually
            speaking Aramaic, in which language there would not have been a double
            meaning. Ehrman says that this raises questions about the authenticity
            of the dialogue, the meaning of the words, and, therefore, the use of
            the phrase

            A 19th-century source notes that the phrase was not
            mentioned by the other Evangelists, nor by the Apostles except Peter.
            “It was not regarded by any of the Evangelists but John of sufficient
            importance to record.” And, without John, “we should hardly have known
            that it was necessary for one to be born again.” This suggests that “the
            text and context was meant to apply to Nicodemus particularly, and not
            to the world.” Otherwise, it would have been mentioned more often

          • Charles

            What in the world are you talking about? There are actually three references to being “Born Again”.. Bart Ehrman the God hater himself.. You use him as reference? Really? It’s real clear what God is talking about.. I can attest to being “Born Again” myself.. You change.. You are not the same person you were before.. IT’S REAL AUTHENTIC SPIRITUAL CHANGE. Nothing to see here. Not an admirer of God I see. Are you a Catholic? Atheist? Or perhaps you are your own God like many are.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Ontology is not a valid reference. Pagan mysticism imbues a person with the spirit. So of course does mass hysteria. i do not doubt your experience. Do i believe it was of Christ, no? Then pray tell why were the apostles running around telling everyone to be baptised and repent.. Give me the third reference. I am actually interested. Jesus is saying to Nicodemus that he should be born from above and it is clear it is misunderstanding. You further an heresy which is found in the 19th century.

          • Charles

            I don’t care if you think it’s from Jesus or not! ha ha.. I know exactly where it comes from. Pagan mysticism is what I would consider something like Catholicism.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Dear Charles, Thank you writing to me. It is always a pleasure to speak to those with whom we have a differing opinion. Your beliefs are based on ontology, and of course they will be valid for you. I generally do not going into discourse who propound an heterodox theology without proof.

            Firstly in our last communication, you said there were three whole verses in the bible regarding the concept of being born again. I am awaiting the third. You did not discuss the apparent discrepancy between the meaning of ανωΘεν which Christ is using to mean from above and Nicodemus’ confusion. As you are interpreting the bible in an heretical form to justify such concepts of dispensationalism and the Rapture. I find this common fault with those who pervert the word. Now here is What Jesus had to say on the matter:”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the
            name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching
            them to obey all that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you
            always, to the end of the age”. (Matt. 28:19-20).

            In fact Jesus says to keep away from your heresy. Yes as i said a concept born of the 19th Century which was a heresy of heresy “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
            that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in
            accord with the tradition that you received from us” (2 Thess. 3:6)..

            1. ”

            In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read, “All scripture, inspired of God, is
            profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,
            that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.”
            There are five considerations which undermine the Sola Scriptura
            interpretation of this passage:

            1) The Greek word ophelimos (“profitable”) used in verse
            16 means “useful” not “sufficient.” An example of this difference
            would be to say that water is useful for our existence – even
            necessary – but it is not sufficient; that is, it is not the only
            thing we need to survive. We also need food, clothing, shelter, etc.
            Likewise, Scripture is useful in the life of the believer, but it
            was never meant to be the only source of Christian teaching, the
            only thing needed for believers.

            2) The Greek word pasa, which is often rendered as “all,”
            actually means “every,” and it has the sense of referring to each
            and every one of the class denoted by the noun connected with it. (2)
            In other words, the Greek reads in a way which indicates that each
            and every “Scripture” is profitable. If the doctrine of Sola
            Scriptura were true, then based on Greek verse 16, each and
            every book of the Bible could stand on its own as the sole rule of
            faith, a position which is obviously absurd.

            3) The “Scripture” that St. Paul is referring to here is the Old
            Testament, a fact which is made plain by his reference to the
            Scripture’s being known by Timothy from “infancy” (verse 15). The
            New Testament as we know it did not yet exist, or at best it was
            incomplete, so it simply could not have included in St. Paul’s
            understanding of what was meant by the term “scripture.” If we take
            St. Paul’s words at face value, Sola Scriptura would
            therefore mean that the Old Testament is the Christian’s sole rule
            of faith. This is a premise that all Christians would reject.

            Protestants may respond to this issue by arguing that St. Paul is
            not here discussing the canon of the Bible (the authoritative
            list of which books are included in the Bible), but rather the
            nature of Scripture. While there is some validity to this
            assertion, the issue of canon is also relevant here, for the
            following reason: Before we can talk about the nature of Scripture
            as being theopneustos or “inspired” (literally,
            “God-breathed”), it is imperative that we identify with certainty
            those books we mean when we say “Scripture”; otherwise, the wrong
            writings may be labeled as “inspired.” St. Paul’s words here
            obviously took on a new dimension when the New Testament was
            completed, as Christians eventually considered it, too, to be
            “Scripture.” It can be argued, then, that the Biblical canon is
            also the issue here, as St. Paul – writing under the inspiration of
            the Holy Spirit – emphasizes the fact that all (and not just
            some) Scripture is inspired. The question that begs to be
            asked, however, is this: “How can we be sure we have all the
            correct writings?” obviously, we can only know the answer if we know
            what the canon of the Bible is. Such a question poses a problem for
            the Protestant, but not for the Catholic, as the latter has an
            infallible authority to answer it.

            4) The Greek word artios, here translated “perfect,” may
            at first glance make it seem that the Scriptures are indeed all that
            is needed. “After all,” one may ask, “if the Scriptures make the man
            of God perfect, what else could be needed? Doesn’t the very word
            ‘perfect’ imply that nothing is lacking?”

            I await with baited breath your answers to my first question. I await without ontology a reasoned defence of sola scriptura. Though and this is my big,though; I await your proof, not your opinion that Catholicism is pagan.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Dear Charles, The peace of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.,

            Thank you writing to me. It is always a pleasure to
            speak to those with whom we have a differing opinion. Your beliefs are
            based on ontology, and of course they will be valid for you. I
            generally do not go into polemical discourse with those who propound an
            heterodox theology without proof.

            Firstly in our last
            communication, you said there were three whole verses in the bible
            regarding the concept of being born again. I am awaiting the third.
            You did not discuss the apparent discrepancy between the meaning of
            ανωΘεν which Christ is using to mean from above and Nicodemus’
            confusion. As you are interpreting the bible in an heretical form to
            justify such concepts of dispensationalism and the Rapture which are
            other false doctrines of Rvanfelical Protestantism. I find this common
            fault with those who pervert the word. Now here is What Jesus had to
            say on the matter:”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
            baptising them in the
            name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching
            them to obey all that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you
            always, to the end of the age”. (Matt. 28:19-20). Nothing there of being born again.

            In
            fact Jesus says to keep away from your heresy. Yes as I said a
            concept born of the 19th Century ( being born again) which was a heresy
            of heresy “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus
            Christ,
            that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in
            accord with the tradition that you received from us” (2 Thess. 3:6)..

            1. ”

            In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read, “All scripture, inspired of God, is
            profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,
            that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.”
            There are five considerations which undermine the Sola Scriptura
            interpretation of this passage:

            1) The Greek word ophelimos (“profitable”) used in verse
            16 means “useful” not “sufficient.” An example of this difference
            would be to say that water is useful for our existence – even
            necessary – but it is not sufficient; that is, it is not the only
            thing we need to survive. We also need food, clothing, shelter, etc.
            Likewise, Scripture is useful in the life of the believer, but it
            was never meant to be the only source of Christian teaching, the
            only thing needed for believers.

            2) The Greek word pasa, which is often rendered as “all,”
            actually means “every,” and it has the sense of referring to each
            and every one of the class denoted by the noun connected with it. (2)
            In other words, the Greek reads in a way which indicates that each
            and every “Scripture” is profitable. If the doctrine of Sola
            Scriptura were true, then based on Greek verse 16, each and
            every book of the Bible could stand on its own as the sole rule of
            faith, a position which is obviously absurd.

            3) The “Scripture” that St. Paul is referring to here is the Old
            Testament, a fact which is made plain by his reference to the
            Scripture’s being known by Timothy from “infancy” (verse 15). The
            New Testament as we know it did not yet exist, or at best it was
            incomplete, so it simply could not have included in St. Paul’s
            understanding of what was meant by the term “scripture.” If we take
            St. Paul’s words at face value, Sola Scriptura would
            therefore mean that the Old Testament is the Christian’s sole rule
            of faith. This is a premise that all Christians would reject.

            Protestants may respond to this issue by arguing that St. Paul is
            not here discussing the canon of the Bible (the authoritative
            list of which books are included in the Bible), but rather the
            nature of Scripture. While there is some validity to this
            assertion, the issue of canon is also relevant here, for the
            following reason: Before we can talk about the nature of Scripture
            as being theopneustos or “inspired” (literally,
            “God-breathed”), it is imperative that we identify with certainty
            those books we mean when we say “Scripture”; otherwise, the wrong
            writings may be labeled as “inspired.” St. Paul’s words here
            obviously took on a new dimension when the New Testament was
            completed, as Christians eventually considered it, too, to be
            “Scripture.” It can be argued, then, that the Biblical canon is
            also the issue here, as St. Paul – writing under the inspiration of
            the Holy Spirit – emphasizes the fact that all (and not just
            some) Scripture is inspired. The question that begs to be
            asked, however, is this: “How can we be sure we have all the
            correct writings?” obviously, we can only know the answer if we know
            what the canon of the Bible is. Such a question poses a problem for
            the Protestant, but not for the Catholic, as the latter has an
            infallible authority to answer it.

            4) The Greek word artios, here translated “perfect,” may
            at first glance make it seem that the Scriptures are indeed all that
            is needed. “After all,” one may ask, “if the Scriptures make the man
            of God perfect, what else could be needed? Doesn’t the very word
            ‘perfect’ imply that nothing is lacking?”I
            await with baited breath your answers to my first question. I await
            without ontology a reasoned defence of sola scriptura. Though and this
            is my big,though; I await your proof, not your opinion that Catholicism
            is pagan.

          • Charles

            Joh_3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

            Joh_3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

            1Pe_1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

            “Such a question poses a problem for the Protestant, but not for the Catholic, as the latter has an
            infallible authority to answer it.” .

            Sorry, you’ve lost all credibility with that statement. As far as paganism in the Catholic “church”, well.. There’s the dreaded Sun worship, Dagon caps. Of course the popes flipping devil horns. Idol worship.. Mary worship, worship of the dead, man made traditions that come from paganism, etc.. I can go on and on. I’m sure you can help explain why they killed millions for wanting the truth from Scripture themselves… Tell me all about it.. Tell me how the Word of God and the thirst for righteousness and truth was snuffed out by your “Infallible” church.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Dear Charles,

            Thank you once again for writing to me, and yet my dear friend you have still not answered what Jesus and the mistranslation of the KJV, both the Greek and the Aramaic which translates as above. This becomes central to whole thesis of your heresy. I can understand that you do not have the theological training to do so.

            John 3:3New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

            3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”[a]

            John 3:3New English Translation (NET Bible)

            3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

            John 3:3New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

            3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born[a] from above.”

            John 3:3Names of God Bible (NOG)

            3 Yeshua replied to Nicodemus, “I can guarantee this truth: No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”[a]

            John 3:3The Message (MSG)

            3 Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”

            John 3:3New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

            3 Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’[a]

            John 3:7New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

            7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[a] must be born from above.’[b]

            So here you go into anti-Catholic rant and I have supplied numerous translations of the conversation with Nicodemus. Remembering the KJV tells there are unicorns and has been poorly translated. You have not addressed the Greek ανωΘεν which means above.At no point when you have posted on the verses scrutinised have made an argument at all.
            You have plainly ignored what Jesus said,

            Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)

            19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

            20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

            Nothing about being born when he commands his disciples, and being baptised and following his word.

          • Charles

            What heresy? You don’t even know what I believe! ha ha..I don’t care if you’re a “Theologian” or not.. Plenty of scholars don’t believe a word of the Bible, or understand it for that matter. I don’t care.. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, not Aramaic.. I would think you would know that. The Catholic church has no authority despite ridiculous claims about Peter…

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Dear Charles,
            Thank for taking the time to correspond with me. May the Lord be with you. You have made it clear that you hold an Evangelical Protestant belief which has no biblical basis and is a nineteenth century construct. So you are part of what is deemed by the churches that have apostolic succession to be an heresy. I myself would deem it it error. I quote you from three days ago ” It’s real clear what God is talking about.. I can attest to being
            “Born Again” myself.. You change.. You are not the same person you were
            before.. IT’S REAL AUTHENTIC SPIRITUAL CHANGE.” You gave me three verses about being born again, which as I have shown poor translations.

            I have on four occasions asked you to deal with the Greek ανωΘεν which means above, and yet you sidestepped, prevaricated , obfuscated and endeavoured to avoid what is actually clear and have argument based purely on ontology which is dubious at best and Satanic at worst.

            You are again misinformed when you say the gospels were first written in Koine Greek. Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic. it would make sense to write the Gospels in your mother tongue. Given you are unaware of this will help you in this.

            Around 180 St Irenaeus of Ludgudum wrote that

            Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in
            their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and
            laying the foundation of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the
            disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing
            what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul,
            recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards John, the
            disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon his breast, did himself
            publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia. (Against Heresies 3:1:1)
            Fifty years earlier Papias, bishop of Hieropolis in Asia Minor,
            wrote, “Matthew compiled the sayings [of the Lord] in the Aramaic
            language, and everyone translated them as well as he could” (Explanation of the Sayings of the Lord [cited by Eusebius in History of the Church 3:39, Further the early Church Fathers Origen and Eusebius attest to this truth.

            I think this discuss started over Matt 19:12 and the Aramaic word used bu Jesus as myhemne. Which I happy to discuss once you have dealt with with matter of translation and language. I will also quote Roman law and cultural understanding at the of “Eunuchs”.

          • Charles

            So we’ve established that your God (It’s not Jesus that for sure) is impotent.. So be it.. My God is able to get his Word out without error.. You are incorrect sir.. 70% of the documents written between 300 B.C to 500 A.D in Israel were written in Greek, not Aramaic.. So nothing to see here.. It doesn’t matter what they spoke at that time.. I have NO idea what you are talking about the “From Above” verse.. Other than you think the Bible is flawed.. You go right on thinking that.. You are also the same guy trying to justify Homosexuality in the Bible as well, which I know is a complete lie. But you go right on thinking your church is THE church.. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have a ton of evidence to prove what a farce the Catholic church is. You and your church do what many in the heretical movements do.. You try to make the Bible fit you instead of the other way around… Common trick among Satan’s minions.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Well let’s be clear here Charles, you do not know what you are talking about even the verses you quote use above : you need to born from above not born again. I also gave you protestant translations that back this up. Well, it seems as though you’re rewriting history, but fabrication has been the tool of all heresies. Papias circa 130 AD translated the gospel of Matthew from Aramaic ( the language of the Hebrews unless of course you are saying the language of the Hebrews is Greek, that would not surprise me) into Greek. Not a hard sentence to read. He also admits he did it badly. We have no extant copies of the Aramaic.

            I know the translation of KJV is flawed. So there are unicorns are there? This, is but pearls before swine. Contradict the early Churchg fathers. Sorry as a reliable source I’ll take them over you.

          • Charles

            If you are born from “Above”, it’s the same thing as being born again (It’s obvious God is talking about spiritual rebirth)… Why is that? Because your fleshly world doesn’t work in God’s world that’s why… You are the sower of confusion… Your ridiculous arguments about this verse is just an indication. Like I said, you were trying pass off Homosexuality as “Acceptable” in God’s eyes when clearly it isn’t. But then the Catholic church is ruled by a man isn’t it? Your church is based on man made traditions.. I’m not surprised by you try passing this garbage off as truth.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            What you fail to recognise is that the conversation was between Nicodemus and Christ. Not Rocket science!! Jesus at no stage ordered the apostles to preach the ridiculous doctrine of being born again. It was in a nutshell “repent and be baptised”,
            I am hardly the sower of confusion: anyone who preaches the doctrine of being born again is doing the work of the antichrist. For 1900 years this ungodly and Satanic practise never occurred until some apostate from the Methodist church came up with the idea. Oh and you have the audacity to call Catholicism man made.

          • Charles

            You are born from above.. It’s called an election.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Now are you propounding the concept of predestination?
            So you move from stumbling block to another?

          • Charles

            ha.. ha.. I think you just like to argue..

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            I do not like to argue Charles. You were the one that opened discussion with me. I did drive my teachers crazy when I was learning Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic though.

          • Charles

            It is now… ha ha.. Tell me how that’s a heresy and right after that tell me how the Catholic Mass doesn’t mock God by sacrificing him over and over .

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Charles i will pray for your immortal soul. The devil really has a bind on you.

          • Charles

            You deny God’s word and Satan has binded me? ha ha.. You’re a funny guy Patrick.

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            Thanks for the compliment Charles. I can discuss with you why predestination is an heresy, but I think that you will not heed what I say. I have prayed for you in the name of Our Lord Saviour Jesus Christ, God made man. I have prayed to the Holy Spirit that you may be rescued from the roarings of devil at his meridian.

          • Charles

            I’m not saying the King James Version is the best translation.. It has some issues, but the message doesn’t change. The fact that you quote a God hater in (Bart Ehrman) in your references says a lot frankly. You will know them by their fruits.. Indeed…

          • Charles

            Should I buy some Rosary beads then to help my supposed heresy? Can I get a get out of “Get out of purgatory” free card for $20.00 maybe? How about an Indulgence? Can I use that? How much will that cost me?

          • Patrick Van Der Ven

            You do not need to purchase rosary beads or pay anything for an indulgence. Reconciliation and communion achieve that end at least for a partial indulgence. Ah you want to segue. i myself am happy to discuss church doctrine and canon law, but only after, you have proved your preposterous contention of predestination.

          • Charles

            Are you Catholic?

  • Mike M

    “For the LOVE of money……….”

  • JustNTyme

    That is one sad excuse for a human being. These people are more like livestock than human beings, they can only move in herds, they cannot function as individuals.

  • Mark0H

    If “homophobia” means “fear of homosexuals,” Deal is the ultimate homophobe.
    How would you like that carved on your tombstone: SUCH A COWARD, HE WAS SCARED OF HOMOSEXUALS.

  • http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ Kingdom Ambassador

    This could have never occurred except for the 18th-century founders replacing Yahweh’s moral law (including Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13) for Enlightenment traditions as the supreme law of the land. In fact, there would be no homosexual agenda in America today at all because no sodomite or lesbian would dare risk exposing themselves to petition government for their “rights.”

    For more on how Yahweh’s triune moral law (the Ten Commandments and their respective statutes and judgments) apply and should be implemented today, see free online book “Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.” Click on my picture, then our website. Go to our Online Books page and scroll down to title.

    Then, find out how much you REALLY know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that EXAMINES the Constitution by the Bible.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Cowardice and injustice. Sad, cowardly descendants in USA who dishonor God and betray all their noble forefathers. Real Americans please stand up and regain religious liberty for the sake of the entire world.

  • Theodore Fenton

    The governor’s faith is such a private matter that he won’t even impose it on himself.

  • Margaret L. Jobe

    Simply accept that your religious beliefs do not trump other people beliefs and do not give you the right to verbally or otherwise assault or harm other people with impunity simply by claiming you have a religious objection to them having their rights to the same legal protections you have. Stop trying to legislate hate, violence and abuse because your religious beliefs promote hate, violence and abuse against anyone who does not conform to your religious beliefs.