Yes, the courts ruled *against* Free Speech. That, and that alone, was the issue.
A woman complained to the city that the flier targeted and disparaged her. Nobody disputes that that's what the flier did -- it insulted and condemned. The boss took down the GNEA group's insults.
Then, the people of faith (the GNEA group) who had put up the flier were offended that someone noticed their insults and suppressed their free speech. They complained that they had the right to state what they saw as the truth, even if it did target and insult someone. The courts disagreed.
That's not a double standard. Equating a woman complaining about being insulted with a group complaining about not being able to insult that woman is the only double standard, and it is not valid.
Now,the free speech issue -- that was a valid complaint, and it's what the case was about. And the article was lying when it asserted that what's going on is all about making "Natural family," "Marriage," and "Union of a man and a woman" into unlawful hate speech.
The court case is available online. It's all in black and white.
The atheist's counter-arguments are pretty solid. Here's an excerpt:
"Michael Gerson didn't make an argument for modern liberal Christianity; he made the more general claim that believing in a higher power solves the problem of morality. Of course it doesn't. Belief in a higher power simply adds a level of arbitrary abstraction to your moral decisions. You are no less likely to commit acts of atrocity, only now you are free to attribute these actions to the deity of your choice. Instead of picking your morals, you are picking your god, as well as your interpretation of what the god wants...
Most people are ready to argue that they shouldn't be expected to accept some of these edicts that were supposedly directed by God [stoning unruly children to death]. At that point, the question of "Where do you atheists get their morality?" is easily answered: "It's probably about the same place YOU get your morality, since it clearly isn't from God."
I think Michael Gerson really dropped the ball on this one.
Great Sermon! I'd balance this sermon by saying it isn't whether something has "touched your heart" that is idolatry (you should covet, heart-love your wife, etc. and give thanks and enjoy what God does give you, car, house, etc.), but when you choose it over God when it clashes with His will. God gives no sorrow/sense of guilt with His gifts- Pr 10.22 (but be careful, Satan can counterfeit conviction and create guilt where there is none.)
I really think that the whole porn problem lies in the fact that people who are addicted hopelessly have strongholds that need to be broken in the name of Jesus. These strongholds take time to break down and that is where man must be born again of the Spirit and walk in the Spirit through prayer and Bible study. The bottom line is really that man doesn't fear God and keep him at Him. Look at the angels that lost their position in heaven and sexually sinned with women? We see God as someone who will wink at sin, but the truth is that all those that call themselves Christian will find grace in the Lord if they are sorry and repent, but if they keep on sinning they will find out soon enough that sin does indeed come with a heavy price tag.
No, really. Read the article. It starts out saying those phrases (natural family, marriage, and "union of a man and a woman") can be punished AS HATE SPEECH according to the lawsuit. That is utterly false.
Hate speech is not against any state law, California or otherwise.
The case was about a balance between free speech rights of employees in the workplace, and administrative rights of the employer to disallow speech they think will adversely affect the workplace environment. The courts ruled against free speech (unfortunately, in my opinion).
But this has nothing to do with outlawing those phrases, as the article asserts. That's bunk. The ruling is very narrow, and is about an employer's right to decide what can go on the public bulletin board. The article states a lie, plain and simple.
It all boiled down applying the Pickering precedent from the 70s: "The Government, as an employer, must have wide discretion and control over the management of its personnel... This includes the prerogative to remove employees whose conduct hinders efficient operation... Prolonged retention of a disruptive or otherwise unsatisfactory employee can adversely affect discipline and morale in the work place, foster disharmony, and ultimately impair the efficiency of an office or agency."
Well, I researched it a bit, and thank goodness, the article above is lying.
The court case isn't about making the use of the words "natural family," "marriage" and "union of a man and a woman" a "hate speech" crime. The lawsuit has nothing to do with "hate speech", because there is no hate speech law in California or any other state.
The entire case has to do with what an employer can disallow on a workplace message system or bulletin board. If the employer thinks the post will cause disruption in the workplace, the employer has the right to take the post down. That's all. No one was charged with a crime. Especially not "hate speech."
I don't think the Christian group's post should have been taken down, but the fact is the courts say the employers have a right to control the atmosphere of the workplace, which is usually a good thing.
Great Sermon! I can compliment this! The blessing of the Lord is being in a right relationship with God, but more, it is the fruit of that relationship too! As you obey God and abide in Him, He leads you, protecting you from temptations and 2nd bests, compromises and wrong decisions, so that you arrive at the wedding alter with "the one", with your soul mate, with the one that you're "in love" with (as an example of this), you didn't settle, so that at the wedding alter, you have no doubts, regrets, you haven't over ruled any red flags, the oxen haven't stumbled (2 Sam 6.6), you're not angry and hindered by God (Num 22.23) your mind is at peace and you may have joy, peace and comfort; it was done right, you abode in God and He led you in His will, arriving at what He wanted out of the goodness of His heart to give you. No sorrow, disappointments, fears, God's displeasure, no convicted conscience, convinced it's right with peace of mind.
Also what a wonderful revelation of God carrying us piggy back smiling at us like with children! Like finding out God loves me as he loved Jesus! Wonderful to find out more about God.
I was saved at age 51, and am so thankful for His grace. I am now 65 years old. For the past several years, I have had the desire to only read or watch biblically-oriented material. I have hardly any desire to know about secular "wisdom" or topics. This website is a goldmine of knowledge of His truth! Thank you for this ministry! Jesus is Lord !
Great Sermon! Get a notebook, and write down "words" that seem to inspire a thought--when reading the bible (KJV), at work an idea/word/truth comes to you, write it down. Keep a journal and write down things to be thankful for that happened that day/week. You will probably before long, see God has been working here a little, there a little, 'til you see the hill covered with little blades of grass. Write down specific questions/prayers for people, light and problems, and periodically pray over them; as you do over time, you will realize things to add to it and see progress therein--God working in your life!(just make sure you're His, for there is common grace, special grace, and deception/presumption; but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for choosing this man's sermons to listen to, if you can relate and identify with him. Is Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections the articulation of your own personaly experience?--a litmus test for those saved for many years. Are you disobeying what you know to do?).
Revival may not come, but seeing Him who is invisible when there is nothing seemingly happening may aid to keep your own fire alight. And see that He is very active indeed with you personally. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Great Sermon on the whole, and individual parts! For further light on fanaticism, besides Jonathan Edwards (who is a must), get the book, War on the Saints Unabridged edition by Jessie Penne Lewis who witnessed the same problem during the Welsh revival of 1904-5. God used this to help deliver me from my own fanaticism. Hannah Whittall Smith's Christian's Secret of a Happy Life and God of All Comfort helped too in my deliverance, who also warns against it with remedies. KJV too. May God bear this witness to those in need.