In his majority opinion invalidating the federal application of the Defense of Marriage Act, Justice Anthony Kennedy did more than strike a blow to a statute championed by religious conservatives. By detailing the cruel motives of lawmakers who couched their purpose in preserving the nation’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage, Kennedy’s opinion quite remarkably scolds members of Congress for using religiously based “morality” as a bludgeon to the rights of other citizens.
Obviously the Court in United States v. Windsor did not hold that Congress cannot legislate morality; it only held that this particular law violated the equal protection rights of certain citizens. But by finding that “the principal purpose” of DOMA was to “impose inequality,” the Court majority cast a dim view on efforts to legislate alleged “Judeo-Christian” morality, and to use that as an excuse for discrimination.
Indeed today’s opinion aims directly at the heart of the religious right’s operating principle that “biblical principles” must undergird all legislation. The corollary of that operating principle is that laws also must protect the “religious freedom” of those advancing “biblical” laws by depriving LGBT people of equal rights. Kennedy shot down, rhetorically at least, both those principles today.
In detailing DOMA’s legislative history, Kennedy wrote that the “interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.” In other words, Kennedy rejected the notion that DOMA supporters were defending or supporting anything but discrimination.
The Muslims of America demands retractions and a gag order against further defamation. It also wants sales of the book “Twilight in America” enjoined.
The book was published in October 2012.
“Defendants repeatedly refer to plaintiff as a terrorist organization engaging in terrorist acts and running terrorist training camps in the United States,” the complaint states. “Defendants bolster their claims through the use of intentionally misleading documents and sources in order to deceive and mislead the public about plaintiff. … In committing the acts herein alleged, the defendants acted willfully with malice in conscious disregard of the plaintiff’s rights and with intent to cause injury to plaintiff.”
Mawyer, who founded the nonprofit Christian Action Network in 1990, once worked as editor-in-chief of the Moral Majority Report, published by the evangelical fundamentalist Rev. Jerry Falwell, according to CAN’s website.
Based in Lynchburg, Va., CAN describes itself as a public advocacy and education organization “based on biblical principles, values, traditions and American ideals.” The website says it uses documentaries, radio and TV interviews, books and alliances with other organizations “to impact change.”
The lawsuit claims that Mawyer has appeared on the Fox News shows “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” as well “Entertainment Tonight” and NBC’s “Today” show, where “he continues spreading various sensational, erroneous theories and presents them as fact.”
The group claims that Mawyer and CAN have spent the past decade “waging excessive divisive and intolerable attacks against the plaintiff.”
The Muslims of America was organized in the mid-1980s around congregations that sought to escape big-city problems in the countryside, according to the complaint.
More: Courthouse News Service
Celebration Church sits tucked away in the corner of a repurposed shopping mall, one of the more modest venues for worship in this city of booming megachurches and superstar preachers. It has no cafe, bookstore or multimedia wizardry, but it compensates with warmth, friendliness and an especially erudite pastor who has a day job as an entrepreneur.
Still, the message from the pulpit on Sundays this month is not so different from that being heard in conservative evangelical churches across America. “When you vote,” Pastor Barry Farah tells his flock, “you have to vote responsibly.” And that, he says, means supporting “biblical principles.”
Farah hasn’t endorsed a candidate, nor does he need to. It doesn’t take a theologian or seer to figure out which presidential candidate is closer in line with biblical principles as he describes them — principles that translate into opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and support for school choice and limited government.