Happy almost New Year, everyone! I am back. The surgeries went well and I am sore, but recovering. Some friends asked me if I got sent home with good meds, and of course, due to the War On Pain Patients, the answer is “no”, but the pain is less bad than I had expected it to be so other than the fact that I am under doctor’s orders not to do much of anything for the next few weeks, tiring easily, and having itchy (from the healing I am told) booboos on my belly and the aforementioned soreness, I am OK and am getting a little better every day. Thank you to everyone who prayed for me or held me in kind thoughts.

This is my first attempt at sitting in a chair at a desk to use the computer, and it is uncomfortable but tolerable for the moment. I’m thinking a Last Friday of 2017 MAGA linkaround sounds like a good plan right now, so here we go!

MAGA for MOTUS today means Make Art Great Again

2018 shall bring us mega MAGA  –  Report: Expect ‘Full Trump’ Unchained, in 2018  h/t iOTWReport

Living Rent Free, even! Trump Ends 2017 Residing In His Enemies’ Heads – Kurt Schlichter

CNN has been trying to stalk President Trump through a gap in some bushes outside of a Florida golf course, like the creepy freaks that they are, and they were stymied by a white box truck that parked in front of said gap. This caused the Counterfeit News Network to lose their collectivist minds:

Can someone check on CNN? They’ve been fixated on a white truck for two days now – Legal Insurrection

Joy Villa got lots of attention for showing up on the red carpet at an awards show wearing a Trump MAGA gown, and we deplorables thought that was pretty neat, but it turns out that Joy is not what she pretended to be and is instead simply an opportunist and an attention hog. Dianny unmasked her HERE. I keep saying, “The Trump Curse is real”, and am proven correct every time karma bites one of his attackers in the butt, but Joy Villa did much worse than those who openly attack My Donald and his supporters, she is a big stinking phony who pretended to be aboard the Trump Train and then turned on everyone who had given her support, and now, Joy Villa is imploding. I predict she will circle the drain some more before her impending karmic flush washes her back to the depths of obscurity. And don’t be surprised if she has all kinds of weird bad luck as well (see Lindsey Vonn for example).

Epic Trump Tweet: “Bundle Up” … – Treehouse

Related icing on the cake: Every Time Trump Tweets, A Snowflake Melts – 90 Miles from Tyranny

Last night I was honored to join my friends, Mr Pinko and Mike Nordstrom on their radio show, and they let me talk and talk! It was fun. If you’d like to have a listen to the podcast, you can do so HERE. The U.S. and Eh!? Show is very pro-Trump and doing its part to MAGA for everyone in earshot.

I hope you enjoy the links! Time for me to exit this chair until the next time. Happy New Year, y’all, MAGA!

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

One of the few advantages growing older brings is experience. Experience is routinely discounted by those who have none, sometimes overrated by those who incorrectly perceive themselves as having some, and best recognized by its fruits, ofttimes borne by its faithful sidekick patience.

There’s a reason why Scripture tells us love is patient and kind. It is. Patience incorporates understanding that the mind’s back room routinely pulls us back from saying and/or doing something that at that moment seems to be the best, if indeed not the only, action plan. Only later on do we consciously realize what we didn’t say and/or do, at the time not understanding why we held back, was the correct response.

Experience and its faithful sidekick patience welcome along for the ride persistence, the ability to stick it out and not let the moment overly influence long term plans and possibilities. The person we are tempted to give up on, the one who despite all presented evidence fails to grasp the obvious, is quite often the one person we should doggedly stick with, or stick beside if you prefer. In time, light will pour into their opened eyes. God never gives up on us; we should follow His lead. Of course we should shield or remove ourselves from those committed to dragging others into their self-destruction, or who take satanic delight in destroying others. Thankfully, said allegedly human horror shows are limited in number. Most can be reached with love and forgiveness; if not today, in a future today whose exact date is unknown to us but will take place nonetheless.

Experience teaches us when and how to bide our time and bite our tongue, said actions routinely happening simultaneously. Not everything needs a comment; not everyone needs to hear what we believe we have to say. Let it ride. Let it slide. Slow your roll. Trust your experience-honed instincts. Listen for, and to, the still small voice. Seek both sides of the story, or as is often the case all three sides of the story: the one as seen by party A, the one as seen by party B, and the actual truth. Speak up when moved to do so, but pull in the reins when not. Let things play out.

And be kind.

Merry Christmas, I say, since I stubbornly hold that the Christmas season begins on December 25. Happy New Year as well, keeping in mind that each day begins a new year.

I’m grateful to readers, fellow writers, and DTG himself for this spot on the blog.

To all, I commend these words from Pope Francis, spoken to a group of laypeople in 2015. The words are on my own blog’s home page as an epigraph to that particular project. Even if you and I don’t share a religious faith, I suspect we have in common a commitment to our nation’s political culture. As Pope Francis says, get to it.

Engaging in politics is martyrdom: truly a martyr’s work, because one needs to go the whole day with the ideal of building the common good, always carrying the cross of many failures and carrying the cross of many sins. It’s difficult to do good in a society without getting your hands or your heart a little dirty…Don’t allow this to discourage you. 

…You can’t watch from the balcony! Get involved! Give it your best. If the Lord calls you to this vocation, get to it, engage in politics. 

Cheers and best wishes to all!

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist from New Hampshire.  

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Chicago’s “holiday tree” in 2011

By John Ruberry

The War on Christmas, the secular-progressives’ assault on Christmas and yes, religion, is fading away. And Christmas is winning.

In today’s video message to our military, some of whom of course belong to faiths other than Christianity, President Trump beamed, “I just want to wish everybody a very, very Merry Christmas, we say Merry Christmas, again, very, very proudly. Very very Merry Christmas.”

Nearly two years ago then-candidate Donald Trump mused, “When was the last time you saw ‘Merry Christmas?’ You don’t see it any more. They want to be politically correct. If I’m president, you’re going to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in department stores, believe me, believe me. You’re going to see it.”

And you know what, I’ve seen “Merry Christmas” in department stores this year. Yesterday at the end of the weekly meeting at my job my boss, who is Jewish, wished everyone “a very Merry Christmas.”

And I’m hearing more “Merry Christmases” this year than I’ve heard in years. Believe me. I figured this would happen, as I posted in this space on Christmas Day last year.

True, the counter-attack in the War on Christmas goes back at least five years, but Trump is the first prominent politician to embrace it, so the president is entitled to a victory dance as he rocks around the Christmas tree.

Blogger outside of Chicago’s Trump Tower

Closer to home, for me that is, comes this Christmas triumph. In 2011 for the first time there was a “holiday tree” at Chicago’s Daley Plaza. Rahm Emanuel is Chicago’s first Jewish mayor–and he’s also the city’s first secular-progressive one. And it was in his first year in office when the concept of a Chicago Christmas was axed. But this year it’s a Christmas tree again. I’m not sure when the switchback occurred, but it’s ironic to note that a couple of weeks ago the embattled mayor declared Chicago a “Trump-free zone.”

An hour ago, subbing for the usual host on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Jonathan Karl wished viewers “a Merry Christmas” at the end of the show.

And from Morton Grove, Illinois I will do the same this Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas to you!

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

by baldilocks

At the New York Post, Jay Cost talks about why he’s considering giving up watching the NFL; mostly about officiating and “freak” injuries.

It’s not that much of an interesting read, but it made me think about the time that I almost became one of those women.

12-year- old me to my dad: “I hate football.”

Dad: “How can you hate something you know nothing about?”

Long before I met the man who became my dad when he married my mom, Dad was a tall — 6’4″ — lanky  teenager who played football and basketball in high school and in college. He says he was better at basketball, but that he enjoyed playing football more.

Later, like almost everyone else’s dad, he’d be in front of the TV on Sundays. This was before he became a Christian and, after that, a pastor.

By the time Dad asked me that fateful question, I was beginning to parrot what I’d heard adult females say, even though I don’t remember if Mom ever gave her opinion on the game. I do know that she wasn’t watching it.

My parents had spotty success with getting me to do what they wanted using threats or shame, but they could almost always manipulate me with logic. So, when Dad asked me The Question, I was forced to conclude that he was right: that I could not come to a valid conclusion about the quality of football because I didn’t know jack about it.

To remedy this, Dad suggested that I join him in front of the TV each Sunday for one season, while he explained the goal, strategies, rules, tactics, etc. of the game, and then, afterward, make an informed opinion about the game.

By the end of that season and for many years afterward, I was a big fan of football and the NFL. Then something happened; something long before Colin Kaepernick first knelt during a rendering of the National Anthem.

I got tired of football players and their off-the-field antics. I think Rae Carruth was the death knell – in more ways than one. Kaepernick was the cremation.

Something that has always been an aversion to me is ingratitude for the blessings which God bestows, whatever the nature of that blessing: intellect, physical gifts, earthly opportunities, etc. I’ve only been able to articulate this aversion in recent years, but it has always been there as nebulous, un-evaluated disgust. And, as the character quality of NFL players seemed to descend, my interest in being entertained by them varied directly. (The same thing happened with the NBA; I stopped watching them even earlier.)

The future LA Stadium in the Rams’ and Chargers’ dreams

But now that I’ve evaluated that disgust, I do wonder how long the NFL will last, considering that I’m far from alone

in turning my back on the NFL, if all the empty stadiums and the losses incurred by ESPN, etc. are indications. Here in LA, we have two football teams that can barely sell its dirt-cheap tickets.

Back to Dad. As I said, he long ago readjusted his Sunday priorities – and so did I. It’s for the best.

One wonders what an NFL-less America would look like.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

ST:

Hope you don’t mind me saying all this in public. Speaking of which, best I introduce you to folk who, to their loss, aren’t aware of you and your work.

ST (short for pen name Sister Toldjah) is a lady of the South; North Carolina to be precise. She was blogging about politics long before it was the in thing to do and long before commercial blogging for corporate-owned sites came into being. ST, unlike many, doesn’t sit around all day searching for regular news stories to rewrite and/or comment upon as if this adds anything to the public discourse. She does research, digging deep to find the roots of current situations and analyzing same to detail not merely what is happening, but far more importantly why. She’s also an extremely nice, gracious young woman. Now, back to the letter.

ST, I noticed this morning the frustration you’ve occasionally mentioned over being routinely ignored by the blogosphere’s high rollers, not a few of whom you’ve generously helped along the way, boiling over. I understand, and boy can I relate. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way; hope it helps.

“They” (the Konservative Kool Kidz Klub”) aren’t worth it, ST. They’re a self-worshipping, self-satiated circle jerk with no talent save poorly rewriting stories taken from the mainstream media they insist they despise yet all the while would sell their soul for acceptance from same. They have never moved the body politic one inch in any direction even while claiming to be of great importance. They’re not. They never have been. They never will be.

Yes, it hurts when you know and have repeatedly demonstrated you’re more than worthy of the accolades and prestige gigs the KKKK routinely tongue bathes itself over. But they will never – never – accept you into the fold. You show them by simply showing up. They can’t handle the reality.

Find your heart, your passion, and pursue it even it it seems like the loneliest road in the valley and you’re wondering why you bother. It’s why I usually write about music, specifically my beloved classic Christian rock. I know I’ll never reach 1/100th of 1% of the people who’d voraciously devour every word if I churned out endless tripe about Obama being a poopyhead or Trump being a meanypants. But it’s okay. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Reaching one person with information that can positively change their life beats ten thousand slapback reverberations within the echo chamber. Every single time.

There are those who possibly you’ll never hear from who are uplifted, enriched, and encouraged by what you bring to light. Write for them. Write for you. Write from the love inside of you.

The chaff proclaiming itself to be the finest wheat will in time be blown away by the wind. But that done from and for the heart? That will remain. And there will be a reward.

Don’t lose heart, sis.

By John Ruberry

I was out of town in July when Detroit, the movie about the destructive 1967 riot and a police attack on a small group of guests at the Algiers Motel, hit the theaters. Directed by Kathryrn Bigelow, who is best known for Zero Dark Thirty and the Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker, is again teamed with scriptwriter Mark Boal. It stars John Borega, renowned for his role in the Star Wars reboot, as a torn African-American, who despite good intentions gets pulled into the carnage and the aftermath of the upheaval.

But by the time I got back home and found the time to see Detroit it was gone from theaters. Even before the Harvey Weinstein-ignited sex scandals, 2017 was an annus horribilis for Hollywood. Yes, Wonder Woman and Beauty and the Beast were tremendous hits, there were many notable flops, and among them was Detroit. That’s a pity because it is a masterful piece of filmmaking.

Last night I watched it by way of OnDemand on Xfinity.

The 1967 Detroit Riot is the demarcation line in history for that city, just as the Potato Famine is for Ireland and the defeat of the Armada is for Spain. It’s the Motor City’s before-and-after moment. “Ah, but that was before the riot,” or “riots,” sometimes the plural form is used, is something all Detroiters of a certain age say. Prior to the riot Detroit was America’s fifth-largest city, but now, for the first time since 1850, Detroit is not among America’s twenty-most populous cities. In 1950 Detroit was America’s most prosperous municipality, now it is one of its poorest. True, Detroit’s problems were evident in the 1950s and early 1960s, but at the time the few people paying attention to such things viewed that period as a rough patch or perhaps nothing more than a modest transitional period.

Fox Theatre one month ago

The world premiere of Detroit took place at the Fox Theatre two days after the 50th anniversary of the start of the riot, the old movie palace is the setting of one of the scenes in the movie. The film begins with an undermanned police raid of a black-run speakeasy–called a “blind pig” in Detroit–that quickly turns into a widespread tumult of looting, arson, and death. Archival news footage shows the devestation followed by a clip of Governor George Romney, Mitt’s father, announcing that the Michigan National Guard has been called out. By the end of the five-day riot Michigan state troopers and federal troops had been dispatched to Detroit as well.

Among the riot scenes is one with now-disgraced US Rep. John Conyers (Laz Alonso) urging a crowd for calm–they ignore him. Five months ago Conyers was still a civil rights icon. Now Conyers is shunned.

But most of the movie is centered on police tormenting suspects and witnesses at the Algiers, the reputed site of a sniper attack. After a performance by the Dramatics–who later gained fame for the hit “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” one of the group’s members, Larry Reid (Algee Smith), along with his personal assistant, take refuge at the Algiers, which is located just outside of the Virginia Park neighborhood, the heart of the riot zone. For a while it seems that despite the haze of the smoke from the arson fires and the constant sirens, the Algiers is the smart choice to have a party while Detroit burns. That is until an evil Detroit police officer, Philip Krauss (Will Poulter), his two racist partners, troops from the National Guard, and Melvin Dismukes (Borega), a security guard, storm the Algiers in search of a sniper, who we know is Carl Cooper (Jason Mitchell), who simply but recklessly fired a track and field starting pistol. What follows is a series of intense torture-filled series of interrogations. Two young white prostitutes, one of them is portrayed by Hannah Murphy, who plays Gilly in Game of Thrones, are among those brutalized.

“I’m just gonna assume you’re all criminals,” Krauss tells them. One of those “criminals” is Robert Greene (Anthony Mackie), a Vietnam veteran who came to Detroit like hundreds of thousand of others before him–he is simply looking for work. Don’t forget, the blind pig raid busted up a party welcoming two other Vietnam vets home. Krauss denigrates Greene, says he “probably just drove a supply truck” while serving and accuses of him of being the pimp for the prostitutes.

Later Krauss asks the women, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves, having sex with n*ggers?” The other prostitute replies, “It’s 1967, a**hole.” But the mixing of blacks and whites was still a problem for many 50 years ago.

Blogger at the site of where the riot started

Finally and tragically the Algiers incident ends but the legal ramifications please few. Conyers appears again. And one of the characters finds deliverance.

Like Zero Dark Thirty, the feeling of Detroit is claustrophobic, which of course is intentional. The lighting isn’t perfect, that approach undoubtedly was chosen to enmesh Bigelow’s scenes with the archive footage.

Understandably Detroit is still coming to terms with the ’67 riot. I visited Virginia Park last month, while there are still many abandoned homes–this is Detroit after all–there are some new ones too. The site of the long-ago razed blind pig and the neighboring stores where the riot broke out is now a park–albeit one that no children were playing in. To be fair it was a chilly autumn afternoon. In July a Michigan historical marker was erected at that site. On the flipside, sandwiched between New Center and the mansions of Boston-Edison, where Henry Ford, Ty Cobb, Joe Louis, and Berry Gordy once lived, Virginia Park’s future appears bright. Deliverance may be coming there soon too.

Besides Xfinity OnDemand, Detroit is also available on DVD. The trailer is viewable here.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Ladies first!

Let’s kick things off with The First Lady, in a FLOTUS Toy’s for Tots compare and contrast courtesy of MOTUS, HERE. Below is just one shot from the MOTUS montage, please visit the link for the rest!

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gets no love from the left, but plenty of love from Reddit’s The_Donald forum where she is known as both Sarah the Warrior Princess and also, as Lieutenant to the God Emperor, Sarah the Shield-Bearer, Patron Saint of the Order of the Fiery Heart. Check out these great photoshops:

Dianny at the Patriot Retort writes about the left’s unrelenting mission to dehumanize Sarah (and everyone else they see fit to destroy), and she includes this lovely picture from Twitter featuring Sarah concluding the #PieGate “scandal” nonsense with good humor and a friendly smile – and pie:

#WarOnWomen – I mean, War on WHITE Women. Remember when feminists were all “#YesALLWomen”? Now, not so much, as a feminist march organizer urges fellow leftist agitators to #ConfrontWhiteWomanhood. So that’s a thing now. Sad!

If you think that was stupid, the UK says, “hold muh beer”: they are BANNING depictions of women in traditional roles from appearing in advertisements because they claim that seeing women shown as loving mothers and wives is harmful or some such nonsense.

Deanna Jo Robinson is living a horrible nightmare. The decorated Air Force Veteran brought her children from Texas to New York City to visit their father, who she is divorced from, last month. Her ex-husband called the cops and had them search her vehicle where they found her personal gun in the glove compartment, which she has a license for in Texas, but nobody except cops and criminals may have guns in New York City, so she was arrested and hauled off to prison at Riker’s Island and her kids were placed with strangers by the City’s department of Administrative Child Services. By the way, New York City offers a $1000 reward for ratting people out about guns – even when the gun owner is legally permitted to have the gun anywhere outside of NYC. Ms. Robinson has since been released on bail, but her children are still being kept from her by ACS and she has not been allowed to visit them. Via Gateway Pundit:

On Veteran’s Day weekend, Robinson had traveled from Texas to New York, so her children could see their father. She brought her Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield handgun. As soon as they arrived at her ex-husband’s house, he apparently called the police, suspecting that she had a firearm in her car, even though she never mentioned it, never threatened anyone, never even had it in her hands. Coincidentally, New York has a $1000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest involving a firearm. PURE COINCIDENCE, of course. I mean, who would turn in their ex to the police out of vengeance in order to score some quick cash and use it as leverage for custody and divorce court? (sarcasm)

Approximately 20 NYPD officers responded to the call, rushing her car, dragging her out by her hair, slamming her down on the pavement, face first, while screaming all sorts of conflicting orders at her. She’s lucky she didn’t get Daniel Shaver’ed. They searched her car with no warrant, confiscating her gun and several personal items, such as her phone, computer, a small video camera, boots, and early Christmas presents. Her car was immediately impounded. This took place at approximately 12:00 noon, Saturday, November 11th. She was kept at a precinct until around 8:00 PM, with no water, no food, and no phone call, despite her pleading for such.

She was then taken to central booking, where she was held until about 2:00 AM on Monday, November 13th. At that point, she was loaded onto a bus and taken to the women’s center at Riker’s Island, before any court, any charges formally filed, before she could speak with an attorney, before any bond was set, before she was even in front of a judge. She was kept at Riker’s Island until November 24th, when $15,000 of bail had been raised, thanks primarily to the fundraising page on Funded Justice.

[…]

Robinson has opted to stay in the New York, in large part because her children have now been ripped from her, kidnapped by the NYC “Administrative Child Services” (ACS), claiming to have emergency jurisdiction. She is not allowed to see her kids, and neither are the kids’ grandparents. Though they don’t list their number on their official website, this “child services” outfit can be reached at 718-933-1212. Robinson had previously been awarded custody by a court in Texas.

“Child Services” is supposed to give Robinson three weekly visits with her children, with a minimum of two hours per visit. So far that hasn’t happened. Instead, her children are kept with total strangers, in a large urban city which they had never been to and don’t know anything about. MORE

Last New Year’s Eve, in Cologne, Germany, hundreds of women were sexually assaulted by hordes of rampaging muslim “migrants”. This year, the politically correct believe they have a solution that will protect women from a repeat of such savagery: have them wear little rubber bracelets that say “respect”. Yeah, good luck with that.

In July, an innocent Australian woman in Minnesota had called the police to report a disturbance. When the police arrived, she went to talk to the officers who were in their vehicle, and one of the the cops, an islamic Somali immigrant (and token “diversity” hire), fatally shot her in the stomach for no apparent reason while she was talking to the other cop. The policeman who killed this woman refuses to cooperate with investigators and because it would be politically incorrect to publicize this story, it has not been much in the news, but now there will officially be no justice for the victim – ever. BNI has the full horrible story, HERE.

I bring you one last women’s issue before I sign off from this post: Complex Endometrial Hyperplasia – I have it, and I will be undergoing a medically necessary hysterectomy on Wednesday to deal with it, along with another surgery to repair an umbilical hernia that is sort of in the way and needs fixing anyway. I also have Addison’s Disease, which can make even dental surgery dangerous, so I am hoping that some of you nice people will pray for me to get through the surgeries safely. I will not be writing here next Friday, but I will return as soon as I am able. Thank you all for any prayers you can spare and thank you to Peter for giving me the opportunity to write here for all of you. May you all have a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, and may God Bless you all.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Two days after the event, I’m still having incredible difficulty processing the thought that Smithereens lead vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio is gone. DiNizio had been fighting some major health issues for the past several years, but to lose him at 62 seems almost criminal.

The Smithereens were never a huge commercial success. They never had an album crack the top 40, and enjoyed only two top 40 singles. Nevertheless, they maintained a strong, loyal fan base that stayed with them throughout their multi-decade career. A sign of how revered they were by rock and roll royalty was that none less than the late Tom Petty insisted they come tour with him in 2013.

The Smithereens music was gritty, gut-level, always tough yet always melodic rock and roll. It was power pop minus the excessive cheeriness, a weary and wary overview of relationships gone wrong (and sometimes right). It was real music played by real men; no vapid pretty boy posing allowed. The Smithereens never took themselves overly seriously, but they were seriously brilliant.

This one is hard to process.

God speed, Pat DiNizio.

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court, relying on little more than the majority’s “reasoned judgement” that “liberty” as mentioned in the Fourteenth Amendment somehow encompasses the dignity of same-sex couples, created a right to same-sex marriage. As the case was being deliberated, traditional marriage supporters, including me, were concerned that creating such a right would immediately create tension (to say the least) between this newly-created right and the right to Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech. In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts correctly pointed out that “Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution.” In a separate dissent, Justice Thomas elaborated on what Religious Liberty actually means, pointing out that it “is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.” In an apparent attempt to mollify the dissenters, Justice Kennedy explicitly stated in his majority opinion that “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” Unfortunately, the LGBT community has done nothing but disparage us and our beliefs since.

Fast-forward two years and we’re back at the Supreme Court for Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case where a same-sex couple sued a Christian baker to force him to create a custom cake to celebrate their “wedding.” The baker, Jack Philips, declined to create a custom cake, but offered to sell them anything else in the store. Naturally, the couple cried “discrimination” to the Commission who claimed that Philips not only had to use his creativity and talent to create a cake to celebrate an event to which he was morally opposed, but also had to teach his staff, including members of his family, that his religious beliefs about marriage were discriminatory. The Commission’s ruling blatantly violated both Philips’ right to freely exercise his religion and his freedom of speech, and eventually led to oral arguments at the Supreme Court last week.

I’ve read the transcript of the oral arguments, and while I’m optimistic that Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch, along with the Chief Justice, will rule in favor of Philips, I’m a bit concerned that the ruling may be too narrow to fully protect religious liberty against the same-sex “marriage” onslaught. Much of the argument focused specifically on what aspects of a wedding ceremony counted as “speech” for the purposes of the First Amendment. Trying to draw a line and putting some wedding-related activities, such as cake baking and photography on the protected side and makeup and hairstyling, for example, on the other side, is a complete red herring.

Rather, I believe and hope that the court will take a broader approach to the question of religious liberty that was touched upon by Chief Justice Roberts when he asked whether a Catholic legal aid service could be forced to represent a same-sex couple in a marriage-related case simply because they offered pro bono legal services to the community at large. The question really goes beyond just a wedding. If “decent and honorable” people believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, their “freedom of action in matters of religion generally” demand that they be able to live out their faith.

Christianity teaches that we should treat everyone with love, but it does not demand that we approve of every choice that others make. Why should there be a difference between forcing a baker to create a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding and forcing a Catholic adoption service to place children with same-sex couples? Why does the same-sex couple’s supposed right to adopt a child supersede a child’s right to have a mother and a father or the Catholic social worker’s right to live out his or her vocation to care for orphans by placing them in healthy family environments?

In either case, the state would be forcing the subject to endorse or facilitate an event or behavior which his sincerely held religious beliefs teach is wrong. It’s really that simple. In either case, the objection is not to the fact that the person is gay. It would be discriminatory if Philips refused to sell the couple a pre-made cake or anything else in the store because they were gay, but that’s not what happened.

The Constitution says there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion or abridging the freedom of speech. I believe the Court can and should develop a doctrine that allows Christians and other decent and honorable people to avoid endorsing or participating in events or behaviors that their religious beliefs proscribe while still protecting the rights of LGBT persons against discrimination. As Justice Kennedy said in the oral argument, “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual.”