November 1, 2014

Fr. Josiah Trenham: Protecting Religious Freedom [AUDIO]


Source: The Voice of Russia – American Edition | Andrew Hiller

WASHINGTON (VR)– Some might argue that the founding of the Americas and the keystones of the United States were largely based on three principles: fair taxation, freedom of religion, and property rights. Now, two of those seemingly are under attack in Kansas. This all centers on a bill that purports to defend the rights of business owners to refuse to serve a customer if they feel compelled by strong religious beliefs.

Radio VR’s Andrew Hiller spoke to Father Josiah Trenham of St. Andrews Orthodox Church in Riverside, CA about the necessity of protecting business owners, gay marriage, abortion, and the tug of war between Judeo-Christian principles and secular policy in America today.

-josiah-trenham-thumbListen here:

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    Michael Bauman says:

    The bill is dead as the leaders of the state GOP and some national ones as well were “embarrassed” by the bill. This is the same state GOP who, when Sebellius ran for governor the first time, refused to endorsed the winner of the Republican primary unless he agreed not to mention the subject of abortion or Sebellius’ links to it.

    The political power is has shifted away from the traditional rural sections of the state to the less traditional urban areas. While Kansas is probably more moral than California, it was for a long time the late-term abortion capital of the United States and anyone who tried to do anything about it ended up in court or worse. After Tiller’s murder it stopped for awhile, but there are concerted efforts to get it going again. Those efforts will probably succeed, in part because there are two major pro-life organizations in the state one of which is an absolutist. They won’t accept anything unless it is a full scale ban on all abortion.

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    James Bradshaw says:

    What types of services should one be free to decline based on “religious convictions”? Further, should this freedom be granted to all religions (including Muslims, Mormons and Christian Scientists)?

    If we’re going to grant exemptions for freedom of conscience, religion shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Were a trumpet player not wish to play for a pro-Nazi rally (I’m stretching here but work with me), his religious affiliation (or lack thereof) shouldn’t enter into the picture. Otherwise, you’re essentially granting special privileges to religious believers.

    Now, the problem is that these exemptions can be abused. Should a business not wish to serve blacks (or whites), they will be free to reject anyone who does not fit their desired profile.

    Are we willing to accept this?

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    Michael Bauman says:

    This is what happens when law and ideology replaces moral consensus. Egalitarianism means “might makes right”.
    In an egalitarian world no one can refuse what the majority can be convinced of.

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      Isa Almisry says:

      “In an egalitarian world no one can refuse what the majority can be convinced of.”
      I shall have to remember that.

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    Michael Bauman says:

    You see Mr. Bradshaw there is Truth (Jesus Christ) which presupposes a hierarchy: of being, of values, of faith. There is no livable way to make such a hierarchy a matter of law alone. It must be believed, taught, practiced and internalized. If only a few people do that, they will be persecuted and killed yet others will change.

    The fact is that within this natural and revealed hierarchy, homosexual practice is detrimental to the health of the person and the culture. It is a spiritual/physical dis-ease of unknown cause. Within the Church, it can and should be managed with compassion and wisdom, but it is likely a chronic condition. My father, a public health doctor, frequently said that the best way to a long life was to get a chronic disease and treat it. All sin is a chronic condition. No one should be forced to participate in anyone else’s disease let alone celebrate it.

    I’m not troubled by the disease of homosexuality, I have my own set of chronic conditions which also require a good deal of treatment. Without the treatment, my soul would turn dark and I would die. It is the same of us all.

    Your question is a legalistic one that is without a satisfactory answer or any answer that is truthful. Legal codes are a product of culture not formative of it. The prevailing faith will create a legal code to order the culture in accord with that faith. In this time, the fundamentally Christian culture is dying and the legal code which it created is too. I dare say that the legal code that is being written now will not be salutary to freedom, life and belief.

Care to comment?