Friday, February 7, 2014

Mr. Otten, God Did Not Give You The Right to Discriminate.

Ernie Otten came out swinging against Rep. Anne Hajek on his Facebook account because she had the audacity to call SB 128 what it is; bigotry and just plain sad.  He spouts off about radical lefties and judges that must want to turn him gay. 
Greg, thank you for your courageous letter. The Representative's comments at Saturday's Legislative Coffee were unwarranted and irresponsible to SD voters. I’m willing to give her a pass that she’s simply ignorant of the facts as to what is happening by radical extremists & activist judges in other parts of the country. I don’t believe anyone other than an radical extremist would want a South Dakota individual or business financially ruined because of their deeply and sincerely held Christian beliefs.
 A pass because she is ignorant?  That seems a bit condescending.  He then drops this tripe:
Yes, all of us have friends or family who are self-defined as part of the GLBT community. We love them. We’ve also heard from them – and they, too, want to live in peace without the interference of those extreme radical activists coming into SD. Who we are as a community is why they choose to live here and not California or New York.
What I particularly like is the phase "who are self-defined as part of the GLBT community."  It is clear that Mr. Otten believes that people who are gay have chosen that lifestyle in the same way he has chosen to be a self-described member of the Tea Party.  It is that simple to him. 

The part that irritates me the most is invocation of God, Almighty to his cause.  I see no where in the Bible where it allows and encourages people to reject others for their differences.  I am not a theologian and do not have an MDiv degree (That is my wife who does, and she unaware of this idea of mixing commerce and religion and bigotry in the Bible: especially in words spoken by Jesus.)
There are already other lawsuits on the books as well, so we need to be proactive in keeping our God-given religious liberties here in South Dakota.
If that is the case, would Mr. Otten encourage businesses not to allow service to people of a different race?  Would he suggest that businesses have a right not to serve women?  These have all occurred in the past
Refusal to serve — and using religion to discriminate — isn’t new. In the mid-1960s, Lester Maddox claimed biblical justification for his refusal to serve blacks at his Atlanta restaurant, which he famously defended with ax handles in his campaign to become Georgia’s governor. Throughout the 19th century, women were refused entry to taverns, professions, and, really, to anything a proprietor decided to exclude them from. The second-class status of women was often, if not always, justified by biblical text.
This idea is continued on the website Faithstreet by Nancy Kaufman when she closes her article saying:
We can’t relegate same-sex couples to second-class treatment in the public square. If the refusal doctrine gains more headway, the hard-won progress that enables LGBT Americans to live free of legally sanctioned prejudice will also be short-lived. Without vigilance, the many jurisdictions that have outlawed discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation will see those laws rendered toothless. 
The idea that service could be denied based on religious conviction didn’t survive the civil rights revolution and should not be revived now. 
I leave Mr. Otten with this verse from 1 Coronations 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
My God-given right is not refusing service.  My God-given right is not to sit in judgement upon others that would walk into my place of business.  My God-given right is simply to LOVE A PERSON and that includes self-proclaimed Tea Party members. 

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