By: Chaya Bracha Walkenfeld and the Board of the College Republicans | Opinions  | 

Vote For Me, Vote for You, Vote for Who?

By: Chaya Bracha Walkenfeld and the Board of the College Republicans | Opinions  |  September 2, 2018

“Vote for me!”

“Vote for me!”

“No, actually just vote for me!”

Democratic candidates persuade you to vote for them by claiming that their party ensures equal rights for all citizens, including for Jews. This is why Jews voted for them historically, specifically from the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Jewish Virtual Library).

I am here to tell you that although the Democratic Party at one time staunchly supported religious (and Jewish) freedom, that is no longer the case. The Democratic Party promises to give everyone equal rights (https://democrats.org/), however that is impossible because some people’s rights impede on the rights of others. By legislating civil rights that are not in the Constitution, the Democrats are actually taking away rights enshrined in the Constitution. In particular, the Public Leadership Institute explains that many states grant protections to specific classes of peoplethese protections conflict with your constitutional right of religious freedom.

The Colorado cake shop incident is the perfect example to demonstrate that not everyone can have equal rights at the same time. When Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) ruled that Phillips violated the civil rights of the gay couple who ordered the cake, despite the fact that designing the cake went against his own  religious beliefs. State court rulings upheld the CCRC rulings. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission went to the Supreme Court where, in June 2018, the justices reversed all prior court decisions and voted 7-2 in favor of the cake shop owner. According to their explanation, Colorado discriminated against the owner of the shop because of his religious beliefs.

Republicans support the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. CCRC because it pledges to “...defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.” It continues to say that “Our First Amendment rights are not given to us by the government but are rights we inherently possess. The government cannot use subsequent amendments to limit First Amendment rights.” Republicans believe that freedom of religion supersedes rights not protected by the Constitution. Democrats want to redefine the words of the Constitution which would take away from the original right to freedom of religion. This case is an example that shows we need justices who will rule in favor of the cake shop owner, and who will uphold our First Amendment right to freedom of religion. 

After the ruling, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) released a statement further proving my points,

“No business or organization open to the public should hide their discriminatory practices behind the guise of religious liberty...Democrats will never stop fighting for every American’s right to full equality and equal justice under the law.”

Leader Pelosi clearly states that everyone cannot have equal rights simultaneously and she believes that legislated rights trump the religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. She does this by demeaning religious freedom by referring to it as a “guise” while stating that liberties associated with sexual orientations should take priority over religious liberties.

The Washington Post explained that about a month before this Supreme Court ruling, Democratic senators introduced a bill to amend (and upend) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to mean that legislated civil rights take precedence over constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.

“While our country was founded on the value of religious liberty, that freedom cannot come at the expense of others’ civil rights,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said. “Since the bill is highly unlikely to pass, without Republican support, its purpose is in large part simply to announce Democrats’ priorities to voters before the midterm elections in the fall.”

Charles Haynes, a scholar on religious freedom, at Newseum said, “One of the reasons for introducing it [the bill] is to signal to people in the country ... this is where we stand, and this is what we would do if we have the opportunity.”  Haynes is more than ready to give away YOUR religious freedom.

Jews, be warned. Understand that the Democrats don’t care about your religious freedom and they are preparing to take it away in favor of civil rights for others. You need to take a stand and understand that the current Democratic Party is not neutral in regards to religious freedom.

If you think the cake shop case doesn’t apply to Jews, let me tell you about a case in which the ruling did directly affect a Jew. In Estes v. Clark, a Jewish prisoner sued his prison for denying him a shofar and kosher food. The prison argued that it was giving him food that was kosher according to its own view. In this case, the judge ruled that the prison cannot decide what kosher is for the Jew. The judge’s ruling was based on Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop in which Kennedy writes, “It hardly requires restating that government has no role in deciding or even suggesting whether the religious ground for Phillips’ conscience-based objection is legitimate or illegitimate.” Although in this case religious freedom did not conflict with civil rights, it is still relevant because our religious freedom is dependent on constitutional justices who recognize that they cannot determine what is a legitimate religious practice. Republicans will nominate and confirm constitutionalist justices who will protect your religious freedoms. Today’s Democrats will nominate justices who would “legislate” rights into and out of the Constitution based on their personal, political beliefs.

For all those who think that it doesn’t matter so much who wins office this election, think again. Remember that the Republican Party is committed to upholding your religious freedom. Who wins is up to you. It is important to vote Republican so that your First Amendment right to religious freedom is protected.

“Vote for me.”

No, actually just vote for you. Vote Republican.

*Editor's Note: The photo has been updated

Photo Caption: Former President Ronald Reagan referred to  YU as follows:  “Its history, representing as it does both freedom of secular inquiry and freedom of religion, is the story of America.”

Photo Credit: Google