Call it ironic or Orwellian, but the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is coming after conservative Christians for clinging to their beliefs.
"It should set off alarm bells," says Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, a dissenting voice on the commission, "because what the Civil Rights Commission does you will see in law very often a few years down the road, maybe even less than that."
At issue is the mammoth 306-page report, released Sept. 7, entitled "Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties."
The chairman of the eight-member commission is Martin Castro, who stated during the report's release that religion is used as a "weapon and a shield" to deny others equality.
The report suggests that supporting North Carolina's bathroom law, or refusing to perform services for a same-sex wedding, are part of a "nationwide effort by extremists to promote bigotry" and to show "naked animus against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."
They're talking about you, warns Kirsanow, if you choose religious orthodoxy over liberal beliefs.
Despite the title of the report, the findings side with homosexuals and transgender people over religious objections, Charles Haynes, who founded the Religious Freedom Center, warned in a Washington Post commentary.
"Peaceful coexistence is not difficult to achieve," he wrote, "if one side declares victory and demands that the other side concede defeat before the argument even begins."
Much like Kirsanow's warning, Haynes also suggests that the commission's findings "carry weight" with federal officials responsible for enforcing civil rights laws.
The rebuttal to the commission's findings is the religious liberties enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, says Dr. Ben Carson, the former GOP presidential candidate.
"That's the reason that we have a Constitution and that's the reason that we have the First Amendment," he tells OneNewsNow. "Because our Founders fully realized that people would be coming along saying stupid stuff like that."
After targeting Christian bakers, photographers and florists, homosexual activists have mocked right-wing fears that they intend to target churches.
But OneNewsNow has reported on efforts in Iowa and Massachusetts to undermine church protections by using "public accommodation" laws that protect homosexuals.
The legal fight in Iowa is over a state-level civil rights commission and the legal definition of a "bona fide" religious service, since church teachings conflict with the state's non-discrimination laws.
In California over the summer, religious colleges and universities fought legislation that would force them to admit openly homosexual students.
The bill's sponsor, a homosexual, said he was opposed to the "appalling and unacceptable" discrimination imposed by them. He backed down only after minority students complained that the bill's crackdown on financial aid would hurt them, but he vowed to push the bill later.
"There is an encroaching effort," Kirsanow warns, "to circumscribe the ability of faithful religious to practice their religion in a way that had been taken for granted for 200 years in this country."
That effort, he further explains, is couched in terms such as "freedom of worship," when what the Left really means is to confine such beliefs to a church or your home.
"And once you step out of those confines," warns the commissioner, "then you better check your religion at your door."