Beliefs Culture Institutions

Madeleine L’Engle’s foundation awards grant to LGBT group at Wheaton College

Wheaton College in Illinois. Photo by Blanche Heidengren via Wheaton College Media Center
The Supreme Court on July 3, 2014, blocked the administration from forcing Wheaton College in Illinois to sanction insurance coverage for emergency birth control. Photo by Blanche Heidengren via Wheaton College Media Center

Wheaton College in Illinois. Photo by Blanche Heidengren via Wheaton College Media Center

(RNS) The foundation of Madeleine L’Engle, the late National Book Award-winning author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” has awarded OneWheaton, an independent community of LGBT students and alumni from Wheaton College, a $5,000 grant.

OneWheaton is committed to affirming LGBT students but is not officially recognized by the prominent evangelical school, which can expel students caught in homosexual behaviors.

The group plans to use the money to fund public discussions and forums about LGBT issues and evangelical culture.

“We couldn’t be happier to receive this grant from L’Engle’s Crosswicks Foundation,” said Paul Canaday-Elliott, a OneWheaton board member.

“Wheaton tells a very one-sided narrative about LGBT persons without making room for dialogue,” he added. “So this will help us continue to supply something that the college isn’t.”

OneWheaton was launched in 2011 and was followed by a public response from Wheaton’s president reaffirming the college’s belief that gay sex is immoral, catapulting OneWheaton into the national spotlight.

Located outside of Chicago, Wheaton is America’s most prestigious evangelical Christian college, boasting prominent graduates such as evangelist Billy Graham.

Since OneWheaton’s launch, dozens of similar LGBT groups have formed on Christian college campuses around the country, many adopting the “One-” prefix. OneWheaton has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter and hosts unofficial homecoming events near the college.

Many see the success of OneWheaton as further proof of increasing openness on matters related to homosexuality among America’s young faithful.

Canaday-Elliott said the Crosswicks’ grant was unsolicited. Charlotte Jones Voiklis, L’Engle’s granddaughter and a Crosswicks board member, was researching Wheaton College online in January and “began wondering whether the college reflected her grandmother’s intellectual legacy.”

As a result, she stumbled upon the OneWheaton website, which led her to contact the organization and eventually award the grant.

The Crosswicks Foundation was “established by L’Engle and her husband, Hugh Franklin. It has never publicly announced a grant award. Attempts to reach Crosswicks via telephone and email were not immediately successful, but the following quote from Voiklis was posted on OneWheaton’s private Facebook page:

“My grandmother had a long and deep relationship with Wheaton College and its English Department, and she was enriched by some of the vigorous debates she had with faculty and students there. I believe that the kinds of conversations OneWheaton is seeking to have reflect where she would be if she were still here.”

Wheaton’s library possesses a large collection of manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts from the life of L’Engle, a devout Episcopalian before her death in 2007.

Wheaton’s provost Stanton Jones did not want to comment on OneWheaton specifically, but released the following statement in reaction to the grant:

“The decision of the board of the Madeleine L’Engle family foundation to grant funding to other organizations bears no direct relationship to Wheaton College’s Special Collections serving as a repository for the papers of respected Christian author Madeleine L’Engle. We hold papers and other effects of a wide array of Christian authors whose work overlaps with our institutional mission; we do so without insisting that those authors or their descendants align with every aspect of our institutional identity.”

OneWheaton’s first event funded by the Crosswicks grant will be a public forum coinciding with Wheaton’s homecoming this October. Canaday-Elliott said the group is not ready to release details yet, but information posted to the group’s Facebook page says it will be a moderated discussion between Matthew Vines, an author and speaker who makes a biblical case for same-sex relationships, and Wesley Hill, a seminary professor and leader of a growing movement of LGBT Christians promoting holiness through celibacy.

“This will be an event that we hope will attract the interest of students and the Wheaton College community, and help prompt conversations that the college itself won’t facilitate,” the post stated.

Additional money from the grant will remain after the October event, and plans for its use have not been finalized. But once it has all been allocated, OneWheaton leaders hope to fill the coffers with more from other donors.

“OneWheaton has recently achieved nonprofit status,” says Canaday-Elliott. “While we don’t have a grant strategy at this point, we plan to apply for more.”


About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.


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  • OnePersecution of Christians is actually what these heretical groups are doing.

    There are enough liberal and progressive so-cso-called Christian orgs that these activists could find their goals met. There is no reason to attack
    Wheaton or any other faithfully honest Christian school.

  • @BB It is pretty delusional to call this persecution, when its funding (modest even) provided to a group of the college’s own students to pursue dialogue as a community.

  • Jonathan Merritt said;
    “……The group plans to use the money to fund public discussions and forums about LGBT issues and evangelical culture….”

    Would you please help us understand how and why gay marriage is morally righteous, how it helps young people, and how it makes us a better Nation? Could you inform and educate us about how the virtues of love, grace, human dignity and personal morality relate to gay sex? Why are so many people “wrong” about gay marriage.

  • You are correct in observing that anti-gay poster’s wild claims suggest delusions, or cognitive dissonance. Psychologists report that the most commonly observed symptom of the mental disorder homophobia is cognitive dissonance, an inability of those so afflicted to accept documentation that contradicts their deep-seated phobia and hatred of LGBT Americans.

    However, it should also be observed that anti-gays routinely engage in what psychologists call “projection.” The most frequently repeated anti-gay lie today is that anti-gays intended LGBT victims are “the real bullies” and that their intended LGBT victims are “persecuting” them.

  • Please learn to accept the fact that you are in no position to judge the merits of the marriages of anyone other than yourself.

    By the way, Antonin Scalia similarly demonstrates he is fantasizing about “gay sex” when the topic is marriage equality, just as you did. Please refer your fantasies about “gay sex” to him, and stop spamming this board with your fantasies. Thank you. I’m sure no one who is not anti-gay appreciates your fantasies.

  • Wheaton College is a Christian College. They should not allow any type of premarital sex on campus, and should expel accordingly. Regarding gay behavior, well, we all know that is especially grievous, as there is no remedy for that relationship in Christianity other than celibacy. Fornication can be remedied by marriage.

  • Sorry, greg1, we DO NOT “know” any such thing. We know that while the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas agrees with your claim, we also know that these denominations will marry same gender couples in 36 US States and the District of Columbia:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Moravian Church Northern Province
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Presbyterian Church USA
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism


  • And:

    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

    These denominations all agree with modern Biblical scholars, who have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently to provide “Biblical cover” for rising levels of homophobia.

  • L’Engle hasn’t been dead long, so I imagine it’s her children behind this. The Crosswicks Foundation (in Connecticut, not the one incorporated in New Jersey) does not maintain any kind of web presence much less publish their 990 Form and the usual reference sources who compile the information have mad the 990 form and the lists of corporate trustees and officers proprietary information, so a casually interested party cannot tell. Some foundations get hijacked and their foundational purpose subverted (which is what happened to the MacArthur Foundation, which is now a repellant honey pot for the liberal establishment). L’Engle had a history of association with some of the more comical elements in the Episcopal Church (those assembling around Paul More), so it cannot be said to be at a gross variance with her general dispositions.

  • And the whole business is so asinine (the award it self and the coverage by Kevin Eckstrom’s Gay News). Wheaton is not an Episcopal school. It’s an endangered evangelical school, and here we have the Crosswicks Foundation acting as an advance guard for the Borg, as if there weren’t enough places in the country already where exhibitionistic homosexuality were not the order of the day.

  • Please learn to accept the fact that you are in no position to judge the merits of the marriages of anyone other than yourself.

    You’re ever reminding us all that irony is dead. (Though Larry’s better at that).

  • To which poster did you aim this personal attack, Art? No one is surprised anti-gays are enraged that someone dared donate their own funds to an organization that supports LGBT Americans instead of using their funds the way Dan Cathy did, to help throw anti-gay Hate Votes.

  • Please learn to accept the crushing defeat of your anti-gay political agenda, Art. Would you like me to help you find some counseling so you will be better able to accept the facts one day soon? That’s the only way anyone can help you with your problem.

  • Translation: “Waah, waah, how dare they contribute to a group that is opposing the anti-gay political agenda!”

  • Carrot: If I told you the sun is a hot burning mass of Hydrogen, that would be an objective Truth. When I state that gay sex is clearly and objectively condemned by Sacred Scripture, then that is an objective Truth, as well. There is no interpretation of those verses which can be twisted into Christianity allowing gay behavior. You merely listed a bunch of churches that have chosen to Ignore, the Sacred Writings. That is their problem, and they will have to answer to Christ at their collective Judgment.

  • “Endangered”? Not from LGBT Americans, Art. Spare us that tired old anti-gay LIE that your intended LGBT victims are “persecuting” anti-gays. No, if there’s a threat to Christianist institutions, it’s simply because Americans aren’t falling for their lies any more.

  • No, Greg1, that is NOT an “objective truth,” it is a routine anti-gay LIE. Modern Biblical scholars have proven the Bible was intentionally mistranslated relatively recently in order to provide “Biblical cover” for then-rising levels of homophobia. For example, the word “homosexual” didn’t even exist until 1870. Many major Christian and Jewish denominations condemn misusing the hate-based mistranslations to attack their fellow Americans and are marrying same gender American couples now. About 400 years ago, a group of religious authorities (sanctioned by King James I of England), secretly manipulated the English version of the Bible to reflect their own heterosexual attitude; they opposed the King kissing other men in public.

  • “a bunch of churches that have chosen to Ignore, the Sacred Writings”

    Translation: Greg1 does not accept that all Americans have Freedom Of Religion, and wants to force his peculiar, minority “beliefs” onto all Americans. This demonstrates he is not loyal to the United States Constitution.

  • We can see the anti-gay poster is increasingly enraged as his anti-gay political agenda receives nearly daily defeats now, in these last few days before the United States Supreme Court sweeps the last remaining anti-gay Hate Votes into the trash.

  • Seems like you have mistaken a journalist, reporting a story, with an advocate.
    It is not Merritt’s job to argue a point.

    But you could turn to this article by Mark Achtemeier, an evangelical New Testament scholar who once opposed gay marriage and now supports it., or you could read his book, “The Bible’s Yes to Same Sex Marriage.

    I’d recommend OneWheaton use some money to purchase copies o Achtemeir’s book to hand out.

  • I have no idea what you mean to say here. That her children hijacked her legacy? (Yet you seem to know L’Engle had associations and commitments outside the evangelical wing of the Episcopal Church.) I suppose “comical” is your way to dismiss people who think differently from you.

    Also, please google “Crosswicks Foundation, Connecticut.” Here is one site in which you can access recent 990 forms, http://www.guidestar .org/organizations/13-2732197/crosswicks-foundation-ltd.aspx A phone number is listed here.

  • Sorry, shawn, but the fact that you are unable to accept facts on an unrelated matter is not relevant to this discussion.

  • LGBT’s do not want “dialogue.” They want utter and complete “affirmation.” Who is kidding who here? This is about conquering The Church in the minds of these reprobates.

    Dialogue. What a cruel joke that is. This is not about some conversation with someone that doesn’t know when to leave when not welcome.

    But luckily for the Christians, they are protected from ruin by the Savior.

  • Marriage FOR CHRISTIANS cannot be redefined by homosexuals. It can only be persecuted by them.

    Same gender marriage does not exist in Christian truth.

    LGBT’s should just peddle their new world order in some new religion and stop the attacks on honest Christians.

    This has become the Fourth Reich with the rainbow flag replacing the old Third Reich’s rag.

  • Fine then. End of persecuting the Christians that will not pervert the Gospel into a gay pride parade..

    But I guess real Christian life isn’t found in the perverted churches, or the LGBT movement wouldn’t need to find their affirmation in the honest Churches.

  • Perfect reply and position Art. This is the most malevolent movement against the Church that it has ever seen. I used to think it was Islam and Humanism, but they are just incredibly possessed to be “affirmed” by Christians, not by becoming repentant sinners seeking to become part of The Church, but by forcing Christians to become another letter on the perverted LGBT list.

    Horrors packaged in rainbow colors are still horrors.

  • Your 5:53 post was 100% Boswell–if it is irrelevant then it’s you who shouldn’t have pasted it again.

  • I would add Conservative Judaism also now ordains Gays and Lesbians and rabbis and cantors and allows Gay marriage as long as both partners are Jewish.

  • bqrq,

    ” …inform and educate us about how the virtues of love, grace, human dignity and personal morality relate to gay… ”

    …or to do anything else……….Romans 14:21

    Happy is the boy or girl or man or woman who do not condemn themselves for the things that they allow or approve of……..Romans 14:22 last sentence.


    If we LGBT’s are happier because of our sexuality, then this is OK.

  • BB,

    ” But luckily for the Christians, they are protected from ruin by the Savior. ”

    But this is true also —

    But luckily for the LGBT’s, they are protected from ruin by the Savior.

  • It seems pretty clear to me that a great social change is occurring in the United States and the rest of the Western world. Homosexuality has gone from being regarded as a shameful disorder to being a regarded as a fixed part of people’s personality, and morally neutral. Hence the move to regard loving homosexual relationships as being morally equivalent to loving heterosexual relationships, and allowing the couples involved to marry.

    This, of course, is a huge challenge to those who still hold to the older view, especially as it has happened in the space of one lifetime. As the Chinese might say, we live in interesting times.

  • Greg1,

    ” There is no interpretation of those verses which can be twisted into Christianity allowing gay behavior. ”

    ” no interpretation…allowing gay behavior. ”

    What about these?

    All things are allowable, all things are lawful, all things are permissible…..1 Corinthians 6:12…..1 Corinthians 10:23

  • Billy, please read the entire chapters 6 and 10 of 1Corinthians. Chapter 6 is so clear I don’t know how you can miss the obvious. Chapter 10 is about the Eucharist, and being in the state of Grace to receive It, and that the Mosaic dietary disciplines are no longer in effect for Christians.

    Here, let’s go to Chapter 6, ” 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

    Doesn’t get any clearer than that. You can have your soul cleansed of all sin, through the Sacrament of Baptism. But after that we must: “18 Flee sexual immorality. “

  • Billy, “all things” in that passage was literally referring to THINGS, such as food and drink. Not actions. When you throw out ceremonial law, material THINGS become morally neutral while sinful actions, which proceed from the heart as Jesus said, are just as wrong as ever.

  • @Greg


    And yet, here you are.

    and yet, you never see fit to condemn BQRQ.

    And yet, you never challenge Doc Anthony and a host of other people who regularly slander and revile gay people with outrageous lies.

    Lucky I don’t believe the fairy tales of the Eternal Barbeque. Otherwise, I’d have a warm one right next to you.

  • and hate, lies, reviling, slander, and bigotry packaged in Christianity are still hate., lies, slander, reviling, and bigotry.

    See you in hell, Buddy.

  • Again, it’s proprietary information at Guidestar.

    I do not imagine at this point that Crosswicks has been hijacked, though one would need to see the list of trustees. I think the award is a stupid one, of course.

  • Translation: “Waah, waah,

    I suppose it’s vaguely amusing as well that gay lobby projects its juvenile essence on everyone else.

  • our plan is to prevent every heterosexual from ever getting married ever. Punishment for disobedience will be getting your apartment redecorated against your will. Resistance is futile.

  • It is what it is. You can’t stop people from giving money to wrong causes.

    Just thank God that Wheaton College itself is still standing strong and courageous against the LGBT activists — for now.

  • Doc, I have to say that is one of the most mature responses I have ever seen from you and those who share your position. I am not being sarcastic here. I am giving you credit where it is due

  • S.M. Hutchens offered nine years ago that he thought Wheaton was doomed. He had some esoteric reasons for thinking so, mainly derived from the history of education in this country and philosophical and theological discourse. A quondam faculty member chimed in to say that there was a liberal bloc on the faculty engaged in a slow-motion purge. I have a strong suspicion that TPTB at Wheaton are not irritated by this gift at all.

    What’s interesting about this mess is that these youngsters are at Wheaton at all. It’s a small school and it’s not as if there are not better options in greater Chicago and Illinois generally given the hefty sticker price. The one thing it retains, residually, is a set of evangelical commitments these twerps wish to wreck. It’s all about spitting in someone else’s cookie dough and the administration were it serious would tell them to knock it off or enroll elsewhere.

  • Huffing Post Paula?

    Why not link to the HRC. Same agenda, same spirit of this age.

    A so-called “scholar” bowing and scraping before the LGBT worldly throne just means another heretic has tried to make a buck.

    There is not one shred of support for homosexual anything in the New Testament. And unless this so-called “scholar” you referenced reads the Castro Street translation, he can never produce a pro-gay agenda from biblical reality.

  • Liberals have been infecting The Church since the Apostles founded them:

    “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

    Miscreants never change.

  • Are you a Christian yet CarrotCakeMan from all of the orthodoxy preached by all of those liberal religious organizations you just listed are so fine in their theology?

    It is when liberalism infected The Church that the numbers started their decline. And why not. The fruit of a sickened tree.

    You don’t have to become a Christian in a place where there is no difference between a believer and an anti.

  • Bottom line, there is no reason that LGBT activists have to invade and attack Evangelical “Conservative” Christian schools, Churches or organizations. They can find all the affirming parties they so demand in all of the liberal and progressive religious orgs.

    But it is telling that the LGBT hate train needs to conquer “real” Christians in order to feel the accomplishment of homosexualizing society has merit.

    There LGBT community and its rabid activists search for affirmation in the real Church and that is why they are attacking Evangelical “conservative” places because they are the ones that are still engaged in “contending for the faith delivered only once to the saints.”

    Being “affirmed” by a heretical religious group or many, can’t give the LGBT movement what it so desires. The futility of the attempt can never be understood by those empowered by “powers and principalities” in high places.

    A reprobate mind never can.

  • Firstly, you don’t represent all Christians. There are millions of Christians who disagree with you and who welcome GLBT people into full life and fellowship within the church. Maybe if you educated yourself you would learn more about Christian pastors, bible study leaders, and disciples preaching the Gospel and living it out in the world.

  • You are really dishonoring the memory of Christians who were ACTUALLY persecuted and innocently condemned to death. Hundreds of thousands, if not more, Christians were persecuted and murdered in the Ancient Roman Empire and throughout other periods of history. Show me the horrors inflicted on the Christian Church by the GLBT and their Allies? Do they compare? Of course, they don’t and you disgrace the true victors who wear the Martyr’s crown.

  • They can both be gay, but they darned well better both be Jewish!

    I’m picturing an old Woody Allen movie where the main character is just shaking his head, marveling at the absence of irony and the abundance of “crazy.”

  • Be Brave, you’re assuming that CarrotCakeMan is a reflective soul engaged in the serious pursuit of theology or philosophy. I find it hard to picture him reflecting on anything besides the politics of sexuality and the deployment of psychobabble to fend off critics.

  • The bottom line is that the far left didn’t stop at gay marriage, but overreached yet again, as it has in every other arena of life. It went after religious freedom.

    Big mistake…but not surprising given its totalitarian nature.

  • If the agenda ended with gay rights and gay marriage, Cranmer, you’d have a point. But as we have already seen, and as people had warned for years, it is going far beyond even that. Showing utter contempt for the religious freedom rights of businesses by commanding them to accede to every wish of customers is the crossing of the Rubicon. To deny that this critical step is a real game changer is to be living in a fantasy land.

  • Jack, you undermine your obvious intelligence and compassion every time you go to that place about the far left conspiracy that doesn’t exist. I’ve asked you so many times fror names, dates, actions, and what I got back is three so-called Christian cake bakers and al Sharpton.

  • And thank you so much for proving my point once again.

    and thanks to all of the Good Christians (TM) and the Only true Christians (TM) who post here regularly and who refuse to condemn reviling and slander directed at gay people.

  • ” given its totalitarian nature.”

    To paraphrase Inigo Montoya:

    You keep using that word Totalitarian. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • WTH are you talking about? You always talk about far left wing agenda, are prone to label people as part of it, and set up strawman positions for posters here as its alleged spokespeople, but not once do you actually give examples of it.

    Please demonstrate some real world examples as to how the “agenda” goes further than the need of gays not to be discriminated against under color of law.

    Where I see it, you invoke that crap when you are just too lazy to address the legitimate points of others.

  • Larry, you’re “deny-and-play-dumb” game is more than a little old at this point. Obviously you believe the obligation to serve a customer compels a business owner to accede to every detail of what the customer demands, even if it goes against the owner’s conscience.

    But congratulations ….True to form, you and your fellow ideological fanatics have overreached — again.

  • BB and friends, can you define Christianity for all? Are your ways the only correct ones? LGBT people cannot be Christians? Hmmm… I find it odd that you see Wheaton as the one prosecuted. Can Wheaton not stand up for itself in a discussion? What are you so afraid of? Christ is love and love is Christ. I’m not sure what Christian truth you are speaking of, but it is not mine and certainly not that of those who see their Christian faith as growing and evolving. I feel for you my friend, and I will pray that you wake up to the love and grace of Christ.

  • Paula, thanks for mentioning Mark Achtemeier! I was in the same presbytery (similar to a diocese or synod) as Mark Achtemeier. Mark is an accomplished New Testament scholar and a man of deep faith. I was so touched to hear that his views against gay marriage changed from opposition to support. Mark is serious, faithful and well grounded… and REAL!
    I recommend: “The Bible’s Yes to Same Sex Marriage” as well.

  • We are the LEFT, the TOTALITARIAN LEFT, in favor of LGBT marriage and we are out to TAKE OVER THE WORLD, crush the real Christians (TM) and infiltrate with happy gay parties for us and all of our friends.

    Against religious freedom? What about OUR religious freedom… the way our country was began? By NON-Christians!

  • Jack, that is simply a misstatement of the problem.

    Not every demand, but simply one. Treat us the same as you would anyone else.

  • Ben, it is what it is. It is wrong for a businessperson to refuse to serve a customer, but it is not wrong for a businessperson to refuse a customer’s particular request if that request compels him or her to violate the claims of conscience. When it comes to the rights of conscience, American jurisprudence has always set the bar quite high in terms of challenges to it. It has erred on the side of conscience because freedom of religion or belief is a foundational, First Amendment right. Moreover, it is part of our civilization to believe that following conscience is not only a fundamental right, but a duty — making any demand that people violate it a doubly heinous act. And it should be added that the rights of conscience extend not just to people of faith, but to those who reject all religious beliefs, ie atheists. Requiring atheists to violate their conscience is equally heinous and wrong.

  • Ben, nobody is saying there is a conspiracy, nor is there anything in my post that would suggest such an idea. I’m the first to say that nearly all conspiracy theories fail as explanations for events.

    What I am saying is that ideas matter, that people are driven by their ideologies to support certain policies, and that there’s nothing wrong with identifying the ideologies behind the policies and critiquing them.

    And as you well know, I believe that crossing the line from support of same-sex marriage to demanding that people surrender their religious freedom rights shows the clear fingerprints of far-left extremist views that transcend the gay marriage issue. As I’ve told you previously, I am infinitely more disturbed by the religious freedom issue, because unlike gay marriage, it demands the surrender of conscience, a demand that is limitless and thus totalitarian, and it fits a pattern I see with unrelated issues.

  • Larry, if you’re referring to me, then I’m sorry if I sometimes use big words you don’t understand. The purpose of a big word is obvious. It’s to avoid having to use multiple times as many smaller words to make an assertion.

    The word, “totalitarian,” is a modern word that refers to a very distinctly modern set of ideologies. (I realize that ideology is a big word, too, but look it up in the dictionary.) It also can refer to a mindset that, due to intellectual laziness, embraces the beliefs and premises behind such ideologies without realizing it.

    Basically, it means a view that government’s reach has no natural limits and that the law can and should tell people at all points what they must do as well as what they must not do.

    Obvious political examples are Marxism and Fascism, but one can have a totalitarian mindset without consciously embracing either…..all it takes is intellectual laziness.

  • Interesting how Jonathan Merritt’s other recent article, “Nancy Pearcey’s Mission to Reinvigorate the Evangelical Mind” has a “comments closed” sign with it….thereby unintentionally pointing to the problem, ironically not for evangelicals but for the author:

    You cannot reinvigorate a mind that’s closed to dialogue.

  • Jack, that brings up another good movie quote:

    “Apes read philosophy, they just don’t understand it”
    -Wanda Gershwitz

    You use big words and invoke political concepts, yet appear to be utterly clueless as to their actual meaning and context. Invoking “totalitarianism” and “The Far Left” is always more amusing than intelligent or appropriate.

    You are still under the delusion that free exercise of religious freedom involves some perceived right to maliciously attack others in open commerce and a right not to be criticized. Your understanding of religious freedom is as half-baked and defective as your understanding of liberal politics and extremism. There are no religious freedom issues at stake here. Just people whining about a loss of undue privileges. The lament of people on the wrong side of a civil liberties issue.

  • “It is wrong for a businessperson to refuse to serve a customer”

    Yes, when they do so for purely prejudicial reasons concerning the customer. It is a harm to society because it ties up commerce for reasons having nothing to do with the nature of the business.

    There is no such thing as a well meaning act of discrimination in open commerce. It is not an “act of conscience”. It is an act of malice done specifically to demean and attack the customer for being part of a group the owner is prejudiced against.

    American Jurisprudence never considered the act of discrimination in business to be an act of conscience. It was always an act of harm. Its just that not every locality wants to make it actionable under the law.

    If you think discrimination in business is an act of conscience, you have no idea what the term means (along with many terms you invoke regularly). There is nothing moral, well meaning or conscionable about it.

  • Larry, sophistry doesn’t work here. When you force bakery owners to put an inscription on a cake that violates their conscience by requiring them to trample on a core belief of their religion — one of the most readily recognizable beliefs of that religion throughout its history — you are engaged in a frontal attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. And when you do that, it goes without saying that you need an extraordinarily good reason to justify it. Otherwise, the First Amendment is not worth the paper it’s written on.

    And thus far, you have offered no such reason….only huffing, puffing, foot-stomping, faux-outrage, and empty rhetoric that runs in circles.

  • Nice try, Larry — really — but I see you’re still confusing mere disagreement with successful refutation. You’ve disagreed on much, but have refuted nothing.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding your interpretation of the free exercise clause and I’m not sure you do, either. Apparently, you don’t understand what a constitutional right is and how you can’t just wave it away because it contradicts your political views. Maybe that’s because you’ve so used to bending the Constitution to fit those views.

    You certainly don’t understand what religious freedom is or what it encompasses. Perhaps you embrace the French view that it doesn’t extend much beyond home or house of worship, but it’s hard to say since you are not very coherent in your explanations. The American view is quite a bit broader, extending as far as other First Amendment freedoms do. None of these freedoms are absolutes, but all are quite broad and inclusive.

  • I have made two conclusions reading this thread, and others like it for months: 1. Evangelical Christians, when they are convinced they are protecting one or more of the following: scripture, “absolute truth,” conservative “values,” and/or American civilization, can be horrible, vicious, mean-spirited, hateful, and bigoted people, all in the name of holiness; and 2. No one should ever think that an online conversation with such persons will ever be productive. Just stop it.