A very significant court challenge in the state of Indiana is starting to get more national attention, and that will likely only increase once the hearing officially takes place.
For years Christian business owners have faced withering assaults on their rights of conscience by the LGBT political lobby and their pawns in both state legislatures and city councils around the country. Passing Orwellian-named "non-discrimination" or "human rights" statutes, activists empower the government to put a gun to the head of business owners, forcing them to participate in otherwise voluntary ceremonies, even when it constitutes a violation of their religious conscience.
While Christian ministers have largely had their rights of conscience respected and protected (to this point), Christian florists, bakers, musicians, and photographers have not been so fortunate.
But in Indiana, a group of pro-family Christians decided to push back, appealing to Article 1, Section 3 of the Indiana State Constitution that says:
"No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience."
The Indiana Family Institute and the American Family Association of Indiana have filed suit against several cities and municipalities there, as well as against the state legislature, for their so-called "human rights" laws that blatantly offend this constitutional provision by actually punishing people for not believing the way the LGBT movement says they should believe.
After steamrolling believers for a decade, this retaliatory legal strategy is likely not what the leftwing activist city councils anticipated; and to this point, they have been roundly defeated in their efforts to get courts to dismiss the Christians' case. That's bad news for the neo-fascism of the LGBT agenda because their defeat is almost guaranteed if the hearing doesn't take place in front of activist judges.
The rights of conscience were among the most cherished, the most fiercely protected, and the most articulately defended by the Founding Fathers. Harnessing the power of government to compel people into an activity that offends their conscience is fascist and completely at odds with any rational understanding of American civil liberties.
This is a shrewd and clever way forward for Christians. Most every other state has some form of a conscience rights provision like Indiana's, and even those that don't still operate under the authority of the First Amendment.
Activist city councils and state lawmakers who are preoccupied with committing ill-advised, unconstitutional infringements on peaceful, law-abiding, religious businesspeople have to know there will be consequences. It should be made very clear to lawmakers that attacking the conscience rights of citizens will be met with litigation, high costs to the city or state, and a public relations nightmare for those arrogant enough to pretend it is their duty to punish the thoughts and beliefs of people who don't think and believe like them.
Peter Heck (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a speaker, author and teacher who hosts a weekly radio broadcast on WIBC (93.1 FM) in Indianapolis, Indiana. This column originally appeared on his website.
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