Forget for a moment the ever-failing economy, the implosion of our foreign policy coherence, and our virtually unilateral withdrawal in the war on terror under Barack Obama's presidency. If liberty lovers don't start fighting back soon, we'll forfeit our freedom of thought and religious expression under the assault of fascist leftist activists in our culture.
Let's just look at two of the many recent events that should have us very concerned. As you may have guessed, they revolve around the controversial matter of same-sex marriage. At the outset, let me say that this issue is no longer about same-sex marriage or gay rights; it is about our basic liberties.
First, we read via The New York Times that "Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing 'poor judgment.'"
What was Reisner's sin for which he is now openly flaying himself in faux repentance? He and his business partner allowed Sen. Cruz to participate in a "fireside chat" for about a dozen people, which was not even a fundraiser. But as soon as word got out, gay activists apparently mobilized in force through social media outlets and phone calls calling for boycotts of Reisner's properties.
An ostensibly shocked Reisner, in an effort to stanch the bleeding represented by more than 8,200 likes on a Facebook page calling for the boycott, apologized on Facebook. "I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake," wrote Reisner.
Yes, he made the unforgivable "mistake" of hosting an event for a presidential candidate who has different views on social issues than the fascist boycott organizers have — and he has himself, for that matter, seeing as he's a prominent figure in the gay rights community, according to the Times.
Supporters of same-sex marriage, as many used to predict would happen, are not content with their recent victories on the issue. They obviously want to punish anyone who dissents for any reason — including religious and conscience reasons — and also bludgeon those (such as Reisner) who even inadvertently assist those who dissent (such as Cruz).
Next, we should consider the horrendous ordeal of Aaron and Melissa Klein, who used to own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery they built from scratch in Sandy, Oregon, in 2013. When they respectfully declined, on religious grounds, the request of two women to bake a cake for their wedding, the happy couple filed a civil complaint against them for failing to provide them equal service in a place of public accommodation. You know, live and let live — the attitude the activists and their fellow liberal foxhole buddies told us they would have if they prevailed in their quest to legalize same-sex marriage.
A group of unspecified people — real or robotic constructs of social media legerdemain — went into battle. "They got together and harassed all of our vendors," Melissa said. The vendors, according to The Daily Signal, folded and took Sweet Cakes off their referral lists, resulting in a 65 to 70 percent reduction in the Kleins' annual income, forcing them to close the bakery. (The Kleins have five children, and Melissa is reduced to baking a few cakes a month at home. Aaron now has a job as a garbage collector.)
But that heartless result wasn't enough for the victors. They pursued their legal action against the Kleins with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and last Friday, an administrative law judge with that agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for the damages caused to the happy — and now happily married — couple.
When I first heard about this, my jaw literally dropped, and that takes quite a bit in this upside-down, crazy world we've grown to understand we now inhabit.
Aaron Klein said: "This country should be able to tolerate diverse opinions. I never once have said that my fight is (to) stop what they call equality."
Sorry, Aaron, and I do mean I am profoundly sorry for the injustice that has been imposed on you, but these activists are not willing to tolerate diverse opinions. They don't care that you are not proactively trying to oppose their march for whatever it is they're marching for. It appears that the true quest of leftist gay activists — and not just gay activists but those of many other leftist causes in this country (e.g., "climate change") — is to wholly shut down and censor opposing opinions, whether thought or expressed, whether publicly or privately.
I repeat: The real fight on these types of issues in this nation is no longer about the underlying "rights" involved. It concerns the appalling mission of activists to marshal the coercive power of government and of commercial blackmail to compel other people to agree (and publicly say they agree) with their opinions on issues they deem important.
Isn't it ironic that the people who are pushing for these rights always wave banners of tolerance, love, compassion and liberty? More than ironic, it's outrageous. And fewer and fewer people of principle are standing up to this tyrannical bullying because, understandably, they don't want to put themselves in the crosshairs of this gestapo. But history tells us the logical conclusion of this story. Some socially liberal Republicans naively believe that this is only about the social issues themselves, but it's about liberty.
God help us.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.