Pence defends religious liberty from intolerant bullies

by Todd Starnes / Fox News , Guest Columnist |

INDIANAPOLIS (Christian Examiner) -- What's really going on in the Hoosier State. That's the subject of today's "Dispatch."

It's time for some intellectual honesty about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Liberal lawmakers, the mainstream media and Hollywood would have you believe this is about legalizing discrimination against the LGBT community.

That is simply not true.

The law ensures that Hoosiers have the ability to not only hold religious beliefs, but live by those beliefs. Over the weekend, Indiana Governor Mike Pence stood firm - and said the law will not change. His steadfastness has angered LGBT activists and those who preach so-called tolerance.

And here's the reason why: Their true motives have been exposed. They don't want tolerance and diversity. They want compliance and forced acceptance - and they want to silence and punish any person who opposes their beliefs.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the stop-gap. In 2010, an Indianapolis cookie shop was accused of discrimination because the Christian owners refused to make rainbow cookies for National Coming Out Day. In February, another bakery closed its doors, under fire for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. The Christian couple was, quite frankly, bullied out of business.

Nineteen states already have religious freedom laws on the books - and with good reason. It's open season on people of faith in America. Bakers, photographers, wedding planners, and even pastors are facing lawsuits, government investigations and punishment simply because they choose to live out their religious beliefs.

Without that protection, I fear we are fast approaching a day when our pastors and fellow church members could face criminal prosecution for daring to follow the tenets of their faith.

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Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is "God Less America."

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