EXCLUSIVE: Craig Young is a blogger who takes great delight in attacking supporters of families and marriage – such as Family First. In fact, if he doesn’t write a derogatory article at least once a week, we actually think we may be not doing our job properly 🙂 He was very quick and continues to put the boot in to Maxim Institute for the issue of plagiarism which occurred many years ago.
But waitee just a minute…
His latest blog is once again on the ‘religious right’ (yawn) and how it’s apparently dying (yeah right – seen the popularity of Obama lately Craig?). At least this latest blog isn’t factually incorrect as many of his blogs are. In fact we’ve noticed that quite a few recently have been posted and then withdrawn – strange.
Anyway, here’s his blog – and while you read his blog attributed to himself, we’ve highlighted the exact same text from a US blog http://www.religionnews.com/2014/10/24/idaho-wedding-chapel-hollow-victory-religious-freedom-commentary/
We’ll highlight the plagiarism in red, shall we?
Commercialism, the Christian Right and the Case of the Coeur D’Alene Wedding Chapel (TM)
Red Queen – October 26, 2014 in General
Marriage equality became legal in Idaho on October 15. As a result, within days, two faux clergy wedding profiteers and a gaggle of lawyers from the Christian Right’s professional ’victim’ litigation division began making headlines, dutifully parroted as far south as New Zealand’s Family First. At issue are alleged conflicts between religion and law, civil liberties and civil rights, and the sacred and secular meaning of marriage.The story began in 2013. In response to the Idaho Legislature’s steadfast refusal to enact legislation to protect gays and lesbians against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, several more liberal Idaho municipalities adopted local ordinances of their own. The picturesque lakeside town of Coeur d’Alene adopted its own ordinance in June 2013.
Unfortunately, the owners of the Hitching Post wedding chapel took notice, conferring with city officials about how the impending legalisation of same-sex marriage might affect their business. Though the proprietors, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, are indeed ordained Pentecostal ministers, they operate their chapel not as pastors in a church but as a business- and as sellers in a competitive marketplace.
The Revs. Knapp are profiteers in a $40 billion commercial US wedding market sector, which is big business. Like counterpart chapels in Las Vegas, or tacky roadside shacks in Missouri and Tennessee, they solemnize civil marriages and charge a fee for their services. For extra cash, these commercialised clergy will even officiate at weddings on boats, hot-air balloons, or roller coasters. As the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Idaho became increasingly inevitable, city officials advised the Knapps that, as a business open to the public, they would likely be in violation of the anti-discrimination ordinance if they refused service to a gay or lesbian couple. It is unclear precisely when the Knapps became tangled up with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Arizona-based network of conservative Catholic activist lawyers who often shop around for cases in friendly venues that will arouse public support. The Knapps are ideal plaintiffs because gay marriage proponents insist that they will never seek to force clergy to officiate at gay weddings or churches to host them.
In this case, the specter of ministers being “compelled” against their will plays right into US Christian Right mischief making about “erosion of religious freedom” The only problem is that no one has actually complained to the city that the Knapps would not perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. That little fact did not stop ADF from preemptively suing the city, and supplying Christian Right propaganda-mongers and social conservative media with stories about ordained ministers being “threatened” with jail and fines for “refusing” to celebrate a same-sex wedding. In the end, the Knapps will likely prevail in their case because, as journalist Andrew Sullivan reminded us, “Requiring individuals to perform a marriage ceremony against their beliefs is just something we don’t do in a liberal society.” But neither the Knapps nor their lawyers are the civil rights paragons they are making themselves out to be.
The Knapps are businesspeople, not ministers of religion They abandoned their religious vocation the moment they traded the sacred meaning of marriage for shallow commercial profiteering as celebrants. A Christian wedding is a congregational celebration. Christian marriages occur in a church, not a kitsch resort-town “chapel.” The couple’s regular minister officiates, not a “rent-a-reverend” with a notary stamp.
Their audacious counterfeit “religious concern” shamelessly and brazenly impugns the ministry of actual pastors who seek to strengthen their congregants’ marriages through marriage education and counselling, who diligently counsel couples seeking marriage, and who give up precious family time many Friday and Saturday nights each year for rehearsals and weddings. Opponent of marriage equality Ryan Anderson plays up the couple’s religious vocation, calculating that “a week of honoring their faith and declining to perform the ceremony could cost the couple 3 1/2 years in jail and $7,000 in fines.” The Knapps have not been honoring their faith by using their ministerial credentials for profit all these years and they and others like them are certainly not honoring it now.
If the Knapps have never applied a shred of pastoral scrutiny in their long years of marriage profiteering but suddenly invoke it to deny their services to a specific class of people, their faith seems blatantly bigoted. States allow clergy to solemnize marriage contracts if they are in good standing with their credentialing ecclesial authority. Surely the Knapps’ denomination, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, would not countenance its clergy profiteering from commercialised selling marriages on the quick — without premarital counseling and completely apart from any church context. It goes without saying that no western government should compel clergy to solemnize civil marriages against their consciences. But to the degree that the Knapps’ consciences only trouble them now that same-sex marriage is legal, theirs will be a victory for bigotry as much as for liberty.
Predictably, ADF hit the venue-shopping lottery in Coeur d’Alene. It groomed the Knapps for months, fabricated a “controversy”, sacralized the Knapps’ tacky commercial enterprise, and advised them to change their website and incorporated status in order to win a case that will create maximum legal precedent for antigay religious discrimination. Neither ADF nor the Knapps seem concerned that they are further debasing marriage’s sacred and civil meaning.
Oh dear. Well at least he changed the heading 🙂
Time to check out all his other columns for similar plagiarism.