Thursday, August 13, 2015

Political Activist Schools Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard on Meaning of Religious Free Exercise Clause

I was meaning to sit down and write a piece saying why Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard limited view of the Free Exercise Clause (only protects "right to worship"), but I found that political activist Monica Boyer, who is not attorney but knows a heck of a lot more about the First Amendment than Brainard who once worked as an attorney, had done the work for me:

In support of the Carmel human rights ordinance, Mayor Brainard stated:
I feel it is important that we recognize there is a distinct difference between how we worship our God in our churches, our homes and our hearts versus how we live, play and
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard
conduct business in the melting pot of mixed faiths and passions that we call America. 
Boyer alertly and correctly pointed out that Mayor Brainard is flat out wrong in how he believes the Free Exercise Clause works:
In our churches?  In our hearts? I think it is time for the Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel Indiana to have a lesson on the First Amendment and what it really means to Hoosiers.   
There is a great big difference between “Freedom of Worship” (the term Mayor Brainard is speaking of), and “Religious Freedom” intended by our founding fathers.   
Let me give a him a quick lesson.  The Obama Administration has already done this.  Early in his presidency, when Mr. Obama was on one of his apology tours in Cairo, he began to replace the term “freedom of religion” with “freedom of worship.”  I’ve even heard the term “freedom of worship” tossed around by my own peers!  This is dangerous! Very dangerous! Let me tell you why.
Redefining the terminology allows the government to redefine what it protects.
Religion centers on a core belief system. Worship is just ONE factor of that. Many countries, such as Romania and Saudi Arabia, have the “freedom of worship,” but their people have no freedom of conscience, no freedom to spread the Gospel or practice religion in the public square. This is one of the main commandments of the Christian faith. Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations in Matthew 28. The church is NOT a building. The church is the PEOPLE living in the public square. 
So when Mayor Brainard says we need to recognize there is a distinct difference between how we worship our God in our churches, our homes and our hearts versus how we live, play and conduct business in the melting pot…he is stripping you of the freedom to live your faith in the public square. That is not religious freedom and directly flies in the face of the First Amendment of our Constitution. 
It’s about time we start paying attention to the fine print! 
Let me translate his quote above: If you are a person of faith, go to church on Sunday and shut the door. Do what you need to do. When you leave the church, you will serve the god of the State. In other words, play church on Sunday, shut up on Monday and Tuesday. 
Mayor Brainard may make himself feel better with his “moral preening” and feel good ordinance, but quite frankly, he needs to be more concerned about protecting our Constitutional rights. Starting with the 1st Amendment.
Boyer is exactly right.  The Free Exercise Clause does not just protect one's right to worship, but the right to PRACTICE one's faith, including outside of the Church's walls.  Brainard is flat-out wrong that the Free Exercise Clause only protects the right to worship.

Boyer's piece goes on to address the Carmel ordinance.  It is a must read.


Pete Boggs said...

We'll see what residents think of this PC fatwa, when they get a look at the hard cost of sharia compliance; to provide gender fluid facilities throughout Carmel, including schools & businesses (!!!). This brand of madness should require a recall election.

Jon E. Easter said...

Schooling is in the eye of the beholder...

Paul K. Ogden said...

Johnnystir, the problem is Brainard is flat out wrong about the Free Exercise Clause. It's more than a freedom to worship provision, which is a tiny subset of one's free exercise rights.

Anonymous said...

Monica Boyer's composition sure caused me to do some serious thinking. I believe Boyer crafted a cogent argument in support of our Constitution right to "freedom of religion" and the difference between that freedom and "freedom of worship". I have to admit I've not paid attention to the politicians who obscure the former with the latter and I see how they can effectively change the subject and move the argument- but on false bases. I will be paying much more attention to how all politicians use the language from now on!

Monica Boyer most certainly did "school" Carmel's career mayor.

Only a left liberal Democrat would deny her accomplishment because she effectively destroys an intentional liberal lie about those two "freedoms".

Pete Boggs said...

New sign upon entering Carmel: Welcome to Myopia

Pete Boggs said...

Or is it: Welcome to Hedonia?

bjb said...

Paul, we Christians need to run more to our State Constitution and less to the First Amendment of the federal constitution. Former Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard advocated that our Indiana constitution offered protections more complete to the individual than the federal constitution: See Second Wind for the Indiana Bill of Rights, 22 Ind.L.Rev. 575 (1989). Cited in Price v. State, 622 N.E.2d 954, 957 (Ind. 1993).

bjb said...

Section 2. Right to worship
All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences. See Matthies v. First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg Indiana, Inc., 28 N.E.3d 1109, 1114 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015) (“The fundamental right to religious freedom, including the freedom to believe and the freedom to act, is protected by the United States and Indiana Constitutions. The trial court's basis for granting summary judgment was that it was foreclosed by the First Amendment from considering the issues at hand because to address such issues would have required the trial court to interpret and apply religious doctrine or ecclesiastical law.”)

bjb said...

Section 3. Freedom of religious opinions
No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience. City Chapel Evangelical Free Inc. v. City of S. Bend ex rel. Dep't of Redevelopment, 744 N.E.2d 443, 450 (Ind. 2001) (“From the literal text of Sections 2 and 3, the discussions at the Constitutional Convention, and the surrounding circumstances, we conclude that the framers and ratifiers of the Indiana Constitution's religious liberty clauses did not intend to afford only narrow protection for a person's internal thoughts and private practices of religion and conscience… The inclusion of the phrase “in any case whatever” demonstrates the framers' and ratifiers' intent to provide unrestrained protection for the articulated values.”)