A Christian funeral home owner has been ordered by a Michigan court that he must allow a male employee to dress like a woman, and that he cannot object based on his religious beliefs because it is a form of “discrimination”:
An appeals court has ruled that a Michigan-based Christian-owned funeral home must allow a male employee who identifies as female to dress in women’s clothes despite their moral objections.
A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Wednesday that R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes of Detroit and owner Tom Rost unlawfully discriminated against a transgender employee named Aimee Stephens.
Overturning a lower court decision, the panel concluded that Harris Funeral Homes engaged in sex discrimination in violation of Title VII and could not claim an exemption through the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer’s stereotypical conception of her sex, and therefore the EEOC is entitled to summary judgment as to its unlawful-termination claim,” concluded the ruling.
“RFRA provides the Funeral Home with no relief because continuing to employ Stephens would not, as a matter of law, substantially burden Rost’s religious exercise, and even if it did, the EEOC has shown that enforcing Title VII here is the least restrictive means of furthering its compelling interest in combating and eradicating sex discrimination.”
The panel’s ruling also goes against a memorandum from the Trump administration issued last October in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained that Title VII’s sex discrimination clause is about biological sex and not gender identity.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed an amicus brief in the case, celebrated the panel’s decision.
“Religious freedom should never be used as a basis to discriminate against people and deny their basic human rights,” stated Americans United Executive Director Rachel Laser on Wednesday.
“The court’s decision rights a grievous wrong and protects our core values of religious freedom, fairness and equality.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the funeral home, said in a statement released Wednesday that the ruling “re-writes federal law and is directly contrary to decisions from other federal appellate courts.”
“Today’s decision misreads court precedents that have long protected businesses which properly differentiate between men and women in their dress and grooming code policies,” stated ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb.
In Sept. 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against the funeral home over the firing of Aimee Stephens, formerly Anthony Stephens.
The case was one of the first two legal actions the federal agency had taken on behalf of transgender individuals alleging sex discrimination.
EEOC explained in a Sept. 2014 statement the suit against Harris was part of an “ongoing efforts to implement its Strategic Enforcement Plan.”
“The commission adopted this SEP in December of 2012. The SEP includes ‘coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions, as they may apply’ as a top commission enforcement priority,” said the EEOC.
Harris Funeral Homes was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. In a 2016 interview with The Christian Post, ADF attorney Doug Wardlow argued that the case was part of the Obama administration’s aim “to push a political agenda.”
“They are trying to use the courts to alter Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination in employment based on sex to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity as well, even though Title VII makes no reference to gender identity or transgender status,” said Wardlow.
“Including protection for gender identity under Title VII would threaten the religious liberty of people like Tom Rost who operate their businesses according to the principles of their faith.”
In Aug. 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox ruled that Harris Funeral Homes could claim protection under RFRA.
“The court finds that the funeral home has met its initial burden of showing that enforcement of Title VII, and the body of sex-stereotyping case law that has developed under it, would impose a substantial burden on its ability to conduct business in accordance with its sincerely-held religious beliefs,” wrote Cox.
“EEOC has failed to show that application of the burden on the Funeral Home, under these facts, is the least restrictive means of protecting employees from gender stereotyping. If a least restrictive means is available to achieve the goal, the government must use it. This requires the government to show a degree of situational flexibility, creativity, and accommodation when putative interests clash with religious exercise. It has failed to do so here.” (source)
We have already written about how the LGBT just won a major lawsuit in the state of Pennsylvania in March 2018 that effectively forced a bridal shop business to close because the owners would not sell a wedding dress to a lesbian who wanted to buy one for her “union.” The Christians who owned the business were attacked, harassed, and even had homosexuals threaten to “shoot (them) in the head” for their faith. In response to the threats, the city council of Bloomsburg, PA, passed a law stating that businesses have to sell to homosexuals even if they do not want to.
Likewise, the state of Michigan had a similar case where a Christian pastor offered a Bible study for “sexually confused” teenagers. When the LGBT found out about it, they attacked the pastor and his family, threatening to burn down the pastor’s church and home, and then murder the pastor and his entire family. When the pastor reached out for help, state representatives across the state of Michigan responded by pushing for a “financial investigation” of the pastor’s ministry. In addition, they also proposed a law saying that anybody who tries to talk a teenager out of engaging in homosexual activity would be guilty of a “crime.” They had nothing to say about the threats against the pastor, his family, and his church.
This is part of a pattern that we have been warning about with the rise of the LGBT, for the more power they assume, the more they will make known their agenda, which is one of power and tyranny. This is the obvious trend taking place here, and it is going to continue for the future and must be watched.
That said, it is interesting to note how the government in these cases is no longer siding with Christians in the case of criminal activity, but is showing favor to the LGBT. This is a highly disturbing trend, but one that should be expected. In fact, one could say that the philosophical justifications for the rise of the LGBT has been in place for centuries. If homosexuality is at its essence a pursuit of power, then those who would manipulate truth in order to achieve power at any cost would naturally, in time, find an alliance with them.
Within that context, this case represents a unique application by the LGBT of the deprivation of a working man of his justly earned wages, which is one the four sins that “cry out to Heaven for vengeance” in the Bible, ranking with homosexuality, willful murder of the innocent, and the oppression of the widow and orphan. Note that the emphasis is on justly earned wages, and that in this case, the context is “flipped.”
When a man hires workers, it is a partnership between management and labor. “Management” can be called a number of things- it could be “the boss,” an owner, a supervisor, or somebody in a position of power in the organization that directs those beneath him and is the final arbiter in decisions. “Labor” likewise can be a worker but also a outside contractor or other person in the “inferior” position who is supposed to listen to “management.” Labor is supposed to serve management, and management is supposed to care justly for the labor.
Throughout history, there have always been conflicts between labor and management. This conflict was economic as much as it was intertwined with the moral fabric of a society, as the political path and much culture is shaped by the economic choices a man makes. In the words of a priest and old friend, ‘(you) show your faithfulness to go through how you use your money and your fertility.’
Former Harvard University President Charles William Eliot, who was highly concerned with the state of what he viewed as a declining wilderness of intellectual life and morality in American society that he was fighting, also touched on this issue of the guild system. He wrote that:
“the medieval guilds bore more resemblance to labor-unions than to modern associations of employers; for they not only regulated wages, hours of labor, and apprenticeship in a given craft, but they had certain benevolent and social features such as enter into the purposes of modern labor-unions.” (source)
It is true that in modern times, labor unions have been used for many evils. The communists, such as Lenin, were very supportive of labor unions, and used them to advance the cause of socialism. Today, many unions serve little more of a purpose than a fee-collecting club that does nothing for their members outside of advancing the ends of socialist/democrat political ideologies. However, this was not always the case, for historically speaking and even today, the labor union, when applied properly, gives the working man an ability to make his views known to management in a way that he could not by himself and with the protection of the larger group. One only needs to look at the history of the labor movement in the USA, which was brutally attacked by industrialists, as an example of this.
Management can abuse labor, and labor can abuse management. Both have equally important but separate roles to play in the economic health of a society, and there is often times struggle to find a healthy balance between these two estates. In the past, especially in Europe, the friction between labor and management was smoothed out by the Church, who acted as a force to bring together as well as buffer against the two. Historically, the Church has tended to side with labor because often times it is it he employer who exploits the employed, as the Bible notes. However, the exploitation can also go in the opposite direction and is equally wrong. This division between management, church, and labor represents the “three estates” of the medieval world, which defines the “first” estate as the government, the “second” estate as the Church, and the “third” estate and the governed.
Throughout all of the West but in the United States in particular, the church does not play ANY serious role in labor-management disputes, and the reason is as much one of history as it is theology. Recall how as we have said that the Protestant Revolution did not fix any theological problems and only exacerbated them, but what it did was to subjugate the second estate to the first so that the Church became nothing more than a mouthpiece of government. To be a “good citizen” was to be a “good Christian” because there was no difference as the Church was “national” in the literal sense- if one is a “German”, then he is a member of the “Lutheran” church, an “Englishman” and “Anglican,” a Scot a “Reformed” or “Presbytarian” and so on. Certainly identity for many Catholic people also has nationalist undertones, such as with the Irish or Polish, but it is not taken in an absolute sense, as it if one is “Polish” than one is a member of the Catholic Church absolutely.
While it has always been so, it has become much more pronounced today that if any Christian “church” plays ANY role in economic disputes, it is either as a sycophant of labor or management. It seldom, if ever sides with both labor and management, and it does not act in both a binding or a buffering capacity. The role of religion is reduced to, like in the nationalist movement today with the “alt-right” and the new socialism, at best a secondary pawn on both sides, one voice among many that just influences but does not decide or distinguish between groups. However, since the government now takes the role of the Church in society, an economic conflict can be exploited and be used to reinforce a desired political outcome as a sort of “reverse feedback loop” that is devoid of morality.
Such as case is not limited to labor. It is happening all over society with the “hate crime” and “anti-discrimination” laws, especially those which apply to the LGBT.
Consider the above story, about a man suing his Christian employer because he wants to exhibit his homosexual perverse tendencies in a CHRISTIAN business. In this case, the employee is clearly wrong because knowing this is a Christian business that adheres to Christian teaching on homosexuality, he does not have a “right” to promote such a view in his workplace. It would be no different than a non-Muslim working for a Muslim man asking if he can wear a T-Shirt that says I LOVE BACON to work. He does not have to agree with the Christian owner just as the non-Muslim would not have to agree with the Muslim, but in a work environment the owner’s wishes, so long as they are reasonable (which both in the case would be), the employee does have to respect the owner’s wishes.
The owner is “management” or the “first estate,” and in this case is also standing for Christian moral teaching, which is a declining and increasingly disliked belief in the “modern” world. The employee is the “labor” or the “third estate”, and he supports the LGBT, which has the support of the majority of society and the government. The church would be historically the “second estate” that would stand between the two and arbitrate in a matter of a dispute if it were serious enough, as this case became. However, the church has been intentionally replaced by the “government,” which acts as an object of worship unto itself and also is placed in authority “above” any church instead of being made equal in social standing but not in function to her. The government is 100% in support of the LGBT.
Is it a surprise that the Christian man lost? It is a surprise there have not been more losses, because the government and the common man on the issue of the LGBT are one and are using their power to bludgeon businesses the common men work for if they do not support the LGBT. This is what Martin Luther did in Germany, but in the reverse, for Luther’s religion folded the church into the state to bludgeon the people into submission to government dictates, while here the government is assuming the form of the second estate and using their position to wage economic war with the backing of the popular support of the LGBT against businesses who stand for Christian teaching.
This was the importance of the Gay Manifesto that we have so often written about. The Gay Manifesto, for as much as it was a “manifesto” of war against heterosexuals and Christians, also represented a strategic plan for how to bring about the rise of the LGBT. There would need to be outward government support in the form of abolishing laws that could oppose homosexuality as well as bringing in laws that support homosexuality, the decline of religion would “need” to take place for this to happen, and the churches would have to be brought as much as possible to support the LGBT movement. However, much focus was impressed upon the common people through media, entertainment, and other forms of “popular art” so that homosexuality was able to be looked at as something likeable, something that one could be sympathetic towards, or would not pose an actual threat.
The popular support of the LGBT was critical because while in all societies there is a division between the government and the governed, the government is ultimately comprised of people who make up the society. This is the irony of complaints against “Congress” or “politicians,” because the “Congress” and “politicians” come from the same people that make up the society, and as such they are a reflection of it. This is especially the case in America, because while there are “political dynasties,” there is no dynasty in the European sense, where money and power as well as the ability to, for most of the time, create money and power lay with individual families. Since the money of the USA is not tied to any one family, but rather exists as a fiat creation from a private corporation (the Federal Reserve Bank) which is owned by domestic and foreign holders, the power ultimate lays with the decisions of the banking families who direct the US monetary supply, as economics follows politics.
As such, what the banking families of the world (as some are domestic but many are international) have done is to allow for a “reverse feedback loop” where economics follows politics BUT, in certain cases, politics can more easily force economic decisions in order to support a desired result. It is not absolute, and as noted, it requires the support of the people and a secularized society where the government is above the Church, for the Church is and has always been the only true obstacle to the acquision of absolute power leading to enslavement of those less powerful. But if there is no church, or if the church is synonymous with the government, then the government can “step” into the role of the church at its convenience in order to rouse the common laborer against his employer.
The LGBT is also not the first example of this subversion taking place, but the first group in the USA to be successfully subverted this way was the labor movement itself with the establishment of the 1935 Labor Relations Act. While the act did have many good points, such as how it can require employers to engage in collective bargaining with labor, it was ultimately damaging to both labor and management alike because it took private matters in the form of labor disputes and placed the government not as an arbiter in a judiciary sense, but as a partner to the bargaining itself. Thus whereas the government in the past would have been the arbiter in terms of the legality of complaints or lawsuits filed between labor and management as in any standard court case, another layer was added so that the government acts as a third party in discussions as well as a legal arbiter.
The result of this is that government is now able to assume sides in a dispute as opposed to being a binding and separating force between the two for resolutions. Indeed the Church also could have “taken sides” in the past if she wished, but if the Church did so, it would immediately cause a conflict because the Church operates on unchanging, divinely revealed principles that if are not being followed can be identified and rooted out. Governments do not operate on divinely revealed teachings, and so while corruption in them can be identified, it is harder to uproot because the government can change the definition of truth to suit its particular ends, especially in the case of a heated dispute.
The government therefore has been able to since 1935 intervene in all matters of labor-management disputes as a third party partner and thus use its power to impose policies on businesses or laborers that often times are not beneficial. People rightly complain about the rise in socialism and socialist politics and policies among labor unions, but one must naturally then question the role of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in promoting socialism for the purpose of economic ends. At the same time, since the NLRB has power over unions, they also can act in support of business, suppressing labor demands or in the case of socialism, violent elements among the socialists or even legitimate worker requests:
The relationship of the US labor movement to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) provides us with an example of how non-electoral attempts to use the existing state institutions to promote pro-worker reforms in a non-revolutionary period lead to a dead ends. Since 1937, the biggest unions in the US have relied on the NLRB to regulate relations with employers — organizing elections for union recognition and compelling employers to bargain in good faith.
This reliance makes perfect sense for the full-time officials of the unions — the NLRB guarantees the institutional stability of the union: its ability to collect dues and maintain a substantial paid staff. However, reliance on the NLRB has undermined the ability of unions to act as fighting organizations of rank-and-file workers. As Joe Burns points out in Reviving the Strike, the NLRB framework has progressively weakened workplace organization and militancy through the ban on strikes during the life of a contract; prohibited solidarity strikes and secondary boycotts; and fragmented industrial unions through the establishment of multiple bargaining units within a single industry or firm.
Since the 1950s, the NLRB has been an obstacle to new union organization, as employers are given more and more power to block labor’s efforts to win representational elections. (source)
The result is the either way, the “government” increases in size and power, and to be more specific, it is not the “government” as an abstract concept, but the people who own the government, which are the people who control the money supply, for he who has control over the monetary supply of a nation does not need to care for any laws as he acts as THE law.
This is the same strategy being used with the LGBT, except it is a sociocultural context instead of an economic context. It is also working very well, because now Christians are without allies from their own countrymen and do not have the protection of their own government. As noted above, this is the “deprivation of a working man of his justly earned wages,” except this time it is not the laborer who is being deprived unjustly, but the employer by having the integrity of his business threatened by the people with the government backing him up.
Do not be deceived as many were in the old world, where the talk of the so-called “dictatorship” of the bourgeoisie was the socialist rallying cry for what became the Communists of Russia, the National Socialism of Germany, or all the other horrors of the last century. This is the truly the “dictatorship of the proletariat” as articulated by Karl Marx, and just as it was in his time, the “proletariat” thinks they are in control, but they really are not, but are just being guided by men far more powerful than them who are using them for their ends and, if the time should come, will dispose of them without care.
The situation reminds me of the ridiculous “countercultural” clothing store “Hot Topic.” The people who often go to that store, at least from what I remember, presented themselves as “counter-cultural,” and hence was why they went there. But is it really “counter-cultural” to buy “counter-culture” products mass-produced in a factory in China from a shop that was started by a middle-aged businessman from Maryland named Orval D. Madden who saw an opportunity to make money selling these cheap products at malls? At the end of the day, the people just have a bunch of junk, but some guy named Orval is taking their money and using it to fund a nice life for himself.
The same is with the LGBT, except as we have said, the LGBT will assume more power so that in the name of “equality” and “rights” they would eventually move to socially ostracize and suppress Christianity, ushering in a new era of pagan darkness that has not been seen since the days of the Roman catacombs.