Defining Freedom …

Have you noticed that some words seem to have taken on a different meaning in the past few years than they once had?  Take, for example, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).  It sounds like a decent organization, right?  Let’s break it down a bit …

Alliance:  a union or association formed for mutual benefit

Defending:  protecting from harm or danger

Freedom:  the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

So, by those definitions, what we have here is a group of people protecting the rights of others to act, speak and think as they wish without being harmed.  What’s not to like, eh?

Well, let me tell you what’s not to like about this group.  The group is actually one of the largest anti-LGBT organizations in the nation.  Just WHOSE freedom are they defending?  They are not defending my freedom, nor yours, and for sure not any of my friends who are gay or trans!

Founded in 1993, the group’s stated mission is …

“To advocate for religious freedom to uphold justice and preserve the right of people to freely live out their faith.”

Now can anybody explain how John Doe being gay infringes on the “right of people to freely live out their faith”?  There is no justification for this … none at all!!!

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) …

“Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop “religious liberty” legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of religion.”

State-sanctioned sterilization?  Denial of goods and services?  Destroy society?  What planet do these people come from?  This is among the craziest things I have heard, short of what comes from the likes of Alex Jones or Sean Hannity!

What brought this group onto my radar today is that Amazon has removed them from its AmazonSmile program.  For those who are not familiar with the program, it gives a small percentage from the purchase price of eligible products to a customer’s chosen charity.  I signed on to it when the program first started, and chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  It is a good program, and Amazon did the right thing, for it should not be sullied by allowing hate groups to solicit funds in this manner. As of February, Amazon had donated more than $80 billion to various charities.  ADF is not in any way a legitimate charity!

ADF, of course, is livid and threatening legal action.  But, as one person said, “Funny how the same people who think that they shouldn’t have to sell cakes to same sex couples seem to want to force a private business to give them money directly. Last I checked, Amazon will still sell stuff to ADF.”

ADF is the very type of organization that will gain more power under the executive order signed by Donald Trump on Thursday (more to come on that later).  But let me go on record here as saying that this is a hate group, pure and simple, that is attempting to take rights away from others, rather than to defend rights.  It would be far more appropriately named the Alliance Persecuting Others.  They have been involved in many legal battles against the anything they disagreed with, including Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

I end where I began … has the definition of the word ‘freedom’ changed that much in the past few years?  Kellyanne warned us some 15 months ago that there would be an ‘alternative’ vocabulary under Donald Trump.  It appears she was right. Members of any religious group have the right to their own beliefs, certainly.  If members of one group or another choose to believe that marriage is only legitimate if it involves two people of opposing genders, that is their right.  Nobody … not one single person or law … is forcing anybody to become gay!!!  But the line is drawn when those members of said religion impose their will on others.  Be religious, marry someone of the opposite gender, attend whatever church you wish … nobody cares!  But do not attempt to force your beliefs, your will, on others.  Defending ‘freedom’???  No, not by any definition. They are in the business of persecution and hate, plain and simple.  They are robbing others of their freedom.  They are, indeed, a hate group and there are more and more of them crossing my radar.  America:  The United States of Hate.

31 thoughts on “Defining Freedom …

  1. Dear Jill,
    What bugs me is that these hate groups poison the air we breathe. I love the concept of peaceful co-existence, decency, compassion. These groups prey on fear and hate while making a fortune in the process.

    I want my gay brothers and sisters to live in a peaceful world where they can go about their business without having to deal with the haters of this world. These haters are trampling on their freedoms and mine.

    The far right have their favorite boogeymen. There’s the rights of gay folks to live full lives in peace; our black brother and sisters having the right to be treated fairly by our judicial system, being anti-abortion but NOT pro-life beyond this cut off point; facts/ truth as reported by mainstream press; science which keeps shedding light on climate change.

    You know what, I am sick and tired of these hate groups trampling on my rights.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • And you know I feel exactly as you do. I am sick and tired of it … who gave anybody the idea that they were better than another because of their skin colour, for Pete’s sake? And who somebody chooses to love? I’m just happy they found somebody to love! And perhaps the worst effect of all this bigotry is that it reflects on us all. I find myself feeling guilty for the bigotry and hatred of those who may look like me, but don’t think at all like me. Sigh. And they do it in the name of religion, of love for fellow man? Love for fellow man just so long as he looks, thinks and acts like them.
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, the mantra of these groups is simple “Don’t tread on me, but it is OK if I tread on you.” Too many Americans do not understand there is a difference between giving someone the right to discriminate and saying you do not have the right to discriminate against me. Our President does not understand this difference. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, he certainly does not understand the difference, but perhaps even more important, neither do his followers. That is what is frightening. Trump by himself is nothing, but with the support of his base, used to instill fear in our other elected representatives, he is a danger … a threat. And y’know … I think he likes the fact that some are afraid of him, likes keeping people in limbo, always wondering. How many times, when asked a question, has he responded with that smug “We’ll see”?

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  3. Watch out for anyone who says they are a Plain Speaker (I am rude and I don’t care); anyone who says ‘I’m just a simple person’ (I am ignorant and prejudiced) or anyone outfit which bandies Liberty or Democracy (this one translates into ‘I demand the right to impose my views on you’).
    Any scoundrel can claim to be for Liberty as long as it refers to them, and them alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Release from the bondage of Christian thought is fairly recent and for centuries men and women had to live under strict government the basis of which was Christianity. In the early days missionaries were sent out to convert pagans to the Christian way of life. In the east the Muslims were in control and insisted on a life-style in line with their teachings. The curious thing is that discrepancy of wealth was never questioned only behaviour was closely inspected. Now in our western democracies we have governments that believe minorities should be left alone to their own life-styles providing they in their turn leave others to their own ways. Such freedom has never been known before and it must be guarded zealously.
    There are those who believe Mr Trump is a strong man — not so he has been hijacked by the Christian Right and is putty in their hands, through him they hope to take over and enforce their own agenda.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are quite right. He panders to them, for they constitute the majority of his supporters. But that, in itself, is an enigma to me, for Trump represents much of what they claim offends their moral sensitivities, such as adultery, foul language, multiple marriages, lying, cheating, stealing … but yet, they don’t seem to care. I have seen several of the televangelists interviewed who said that he can be forgiven, should get a Mulligan, and some have even compared him to biblical kings! Double standard, hypocrisy … as you said, he is putty in their hands and in him, they apparently see that putty as being willing to mold the nation to look as they would like it to. I think they are in for a surprise … at least, I hope so, for there are a lot of us who do NOT wish to live in a nation dominated by bigots and hypocrites.

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  5. Sadly we can’t stop others from hating. It’s called free will and is lawful in the U.S. We can feel sorry for them because they’re hurting themselves. Given the political climate these days I can understand these groups springing up. Shame on them and on those who promote the hate and encourage it.. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • @ patriciaruthsusan. I don’t really care they are hurting themselves with their actions, but I sure do care about the hurt and harm they are causing others. I think of the gay and trans kids who kill themselves because of these hateful words, the other christian kids who are trained into doing the same bullying because they learned it at home and church. I think of the people who lose jobs, housing, services, and their own self respect due to these people. They are not the victims , the ones they hurt are. Be well. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Scottie. I know they do a lot of harm. I can’t help but think many of them will have the harm come back to bite them. Online nastiness and cruelty are turning out to be worse than bullying to people’s faces. It can destroy lives. I worked hard to be sure my children had strong egos that were armor against those nasty, messed up people. —- Suzanne

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hello Suzanne. I agree with you online conversations are often nasty for no reason except people can do it with little consequence. I am very happy you have taken steps to protect and strengthen your children in a sometimes hard world. I do disagree that online bullying is worse than face to face bullying. I can turn off the computer, I can leave a page of insults for something better, but I can not get away from coworkers that think their god wants me to change. I can not get away from the boss who thinks my marriage to my husband is an illness destroying the country. Kids can not get away from the bullies at school. The people who bully, insult, and make life harder for people they feel are inferior or they hate, feel embolden due to the president and his actions, fox news and how it deals with people who disagree with them, and church leaders who blame every evil on those who are not in the congregation. I keep reminding people that being gay, trans, body size, deformities are all things you are born with that you have no choice about . It is however,a choice to hate. It is a choice to follow a hating religion or politician. Be well. Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Superb post. We’re fighting against the Christian version of the Taliban and ISIS right here in America. And, aren’t these religious nutters the biggest, cry-baby snowflakes you’ve ever seen? My god, the crying and the whining they do because, HEAVEN FORBID, gay people can get married and THEY don’t like it! Well, like Pope John Paul the 2nd once said when people were shooting at his motor car, “Oh, f**k them already! They really, really bother me, and they f**kin’ need to STOP!!! GET A LIFE, PEOPLE!”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Agreed! People talk so much about Sharia Law, but is this really much different? I remember decades ago when so many people were incensed by inter-racial marriage. The same is happening today with same-sex marriage. We never learn, do we. And I must ask … did Pope John Paul REALLY say that??? 🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you very much for this post. We need more people speaking out. They want the right to discriminate and persecute. They claim you are oppressing them if you try to stop them from persecuting others they disagree with. They want the privilege they use to have of being assumed correct no matter what horrible thing they did. I am so glad there is more people shedding light on what these groups are doing to those not of their religious views. Somehow in their view my 28 year same sex relationship is not as worthy as Kim Davis’s four marriages to three different men. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank YOU, my friend! The frightening, maddening thing is that ADF is but one of … perhaps hundreds of such groups. And now the prez has given them his ‘seal of approval’, which may well lead to discrimination and persecution the likes of which you and I have not yet seen in our lifetimes. I am determined to keep shining a light on the bigotry as long as I am still breathing, but sadly I don’t know how much good any of it does, for there seems to be an awful lot of judgmental hate going on in this country … actually around the globe … these days. Hang in there … don’t let it get you down. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Defining Freedom … — Filosofa’s Word | Scotties Toy Box

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