John Andrews, Director of the Centennial Institute shares his perspective on the recent controversy surrounding the Log Cabin Republicans and the Western Conservative Summit.
AMERICA 2015; CLASHING FREEDOMS CAN COEXIST
(By John Andrews) Did you hear about the Jewish festival selling an exhibit table to the Christian proselytizers? Or the Catholic conference where opponents, after pitching a fit, were allowed a poster saying the Pope is the anti-Christ?
Of course not. But how about the Planned Parenthood seminar where pro-lifers insisted on displaying gruesome photos of aborted babies? Or the Log Cabin Republicans gay advocacy group letting Fred Phelps advertise at their convention?
Why didn’t you hear about any of those incompatible matchups? Because the American way is freedom, fairness, tolerance as a two-way street. The American way is live and let live. Private organizations, whether religious or secular, get to choose their partners and presenters in keeping with the organization’s core values.
What you have heard about this week, though, is the Log Cabin Republicans laying on a national campaign of shaming and bullying against Colorado Christian University for asserting that same First Amendment protection – the right to choose our partners and presenters at an upcoming conference in keeping with our own core values.
Annually since 2010, CCU has hosted the Western Conservative Summit. We’re expecting 4000 delegates, 50 speakers, and 100 exhibitors this coming June 26-28. But the Summit is not about parties. It’s a freedom rally with a Christian biblical worldview.
Participants needn’t endorse that worldview, but if a group opposes it, we can’t endorse them. So the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans, with their advocacy of same-sex marriage, were turned down after applying to be an exhibit partner and making provisional payment.
We encouraged them to attend as individuals instead, then refunded the payment and explained our tenet of faith that marriage is one man and one woman. Anti-gay? No. We’ve had Tammy Bruce speak at the Summit and Mark Ferrandino speak on campus. We love everyone, gay or straight, as Jesus commands us.
To have had Log Cabin supporters from across the country calling us haters, bigots, and the Taliban in return, trying to shut down our conference, didn’t feel like the American way. We wanted to say: get a “Coexist” bumper sticker, people. We respect your sexual freedom. Please respect our religious freedom.
It makes sense for the state Republican Party to include Log Cabin as an official GOP affiliate group at their Summit exhibit booth, along with other affiliate groups for women, blacks, Hispanics, etc. That’s the party’s call, not CCU’s call – a win-win for friends of liberty and limited government. Everyone’s welcome at the Summit. See you there.