May 2015 Newsletter

Indiana RFRA Pits the Sexual Revolution against Christianity

In an April 21, 2015 speech in the Hillsdale¹ College Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., David French outlined and expanded upon four critical truths that were obvious in the attack on the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They are:

1. The battle is not between gay rights and religious liberty – although religious liberty is certainly at stake – but between the sexual revolution and Christianity itself.
2. Not a single orthodox denomination is making or even contemplating such changes, meaning tens of millions of Americans will remain – indefinitely – opposed to the continued expansion of the sexual revolution.
3. Cultural conservatism is showing increasing strength at the grassroots.
4. Conservative grassroots and conservative public intellectuals are united. There is no wavering among America’s most influential conservative writers and thinkers.

Conservative Muscle: Observations by Mr. French

  • Cultural conservatives answered the Left’s attempted Chick-fil-A boycott with a “buycott” that swamped stores nationwide, even causing some to run out of food for customers eager to show support for a beloved restaurant, owned by people who share their moral principles.
  • Leftist pressure against Hobby Lobby failed. Customers were either supportive of the owners or indifferent to politics, and boycotts had no effect on Hobby Lobby’s bottom line or its willingness to fight. Not only did Hobby Lobby win its Supreme Court case, its owners are set to open a massive new Museum of the Bible near the National Mall.
  • Efforts to drive Phil Robertson – of Duck Dynasty fame – off the air after controversial comments on sexual morality failed, giving cultural conservatives a victory in a medium (cable television) seen as almost uniformly hostile to orthodox Christianity. While Robertson has remained a polarizing figure (and often says things that make many of his supporters uncomfortable), there has been no serious repeat efforts to remove him from the air.
  • In Houston, leftist government officials were forced to backtrack within days after issuing subpoenas requiring area pastors to turn over the contents of their sermons and other communications. The public outcry was so swift and so great that the city capitulated even before a judge could rule on motions to quash.
  • Even in Indiana, as Republican politicians quickly caved to corporate and media pressure, the grassroots response in support of Memories Pizza soon swamped the Left. A GoFundMe (sic) account set up to support the owners raised more than $800,000 in small donations in a matter of days (including over $200,000 in one day), putting the pizza restaurant in a far superior financial position than it had enjoyed before the controversy. The message was clear: Cultural conservatives are not, in fact, culturally isolated but rather have the support of millions of Americans who oppose leftist bullying.

¹ “The Battle of Indiana and the Promise of Battles to Come,” by David French, Imprimis April 2015, Hillsdale College Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.

  • To read the rest of this newsletter in PDF format, please click here.