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Gay marriage exemption ineffective, priest says

By Pat Gee

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:48 a.m. HST, Oct 26, 2013

2013 October 24 - CTY REL - Rev. Allen Cardines. Courtesy of Hawaii Pastors Roundtable.

The religious exemption of the marriage equality bill now being drafted by the Hawaii Legislature will do little to protect the religious freedom of churches and individuals who believe homosexuality is a sin, says the Rev. Allen Cardines of the Hope Chapel Nanakuli church, and a major organizer of various Christian community groups.

"The exemption ... is merely all shibai," Cardines said in an interview this week on the position of many evangelical Christians on the landmark legislation. "It can't work. It can't work. If you look at church in the context of people that have a belief system based on the Bible and the faith in Jesus Christ, it does nothing to protect them."

He added: "A number of people feel that church happens only on Sunday and all they do is preach a message or hold weddings, funerals and baptisms, but actually church is people with a belief system who practice their faith 24/7, 365 (days a year). So basically, church is not an institution, it's the people.

"Our people include teachers, so in that case, if same-sex marriage is passed, will teachers be forced to teach that curriculum? We're also students -- will students be forced to stay in the classroom and listen to that? Will parents be able to opt out, or will they be notified if the curriculum is changed? And that's just the education system. We can go on and on and on."

Cardines, program director of the Catholic-connected Hawaii Family Forum, is also chairman of the Hawaii Pastors Roundtable and president of Transformation Hawaii, two multidenominational activist groups.

In the latest draft of a gay marriage bill, to be decided at a special legislative session starting Monday, the religious exemption states that clergy have constitutional rights under state and federal laws to refuse to perform gay weddings at facilities or on properties regularly used for religious purposes and for its members.

But churches would be subject to the state's public accommodations law if religious facilities operate a for-profit service open to the general public, and that's where churches can be most vulnerable, Cardines said. He cited lawsuits being filed across the nation for discrimination against gays, including a Hawaii Kai bed-and-breakfast owner charged in April under the public accommodations law for not renting to a gay couple in 2007.

There could be disputes over how official membership to a church should be defined, and a proposed revision to allow "approved guests" to use facilities could also be subject to argument, Cardines said. Relatives or friends who attend the church are often nonmembers, especially during special services like Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas, so, he asked, would the church be considered a public accommodation in this case?

"That public accommodation (clause), that cancels out everything. Even if we did have all the language we want ... the religious exemption language is meaningless because who is the government to tell the church what they are allowed to do? The government is trying to tell us how we can and cannot run our church," in violation of First Amendment right to free exercise of religion, speech, the press and assembly, Cardines added.

"A lot of people think church just has Sunday service, weddings and such, but we do a lot more than that. We do after-schools service, we do preschools, we do disaster preparedness. We do a lot of things the government thinks may not be religious, but for us, we're loving God and loving our neighbors. So that's a huge problem right there," he said.

Cardines was one of the key authors of a statement against same-sex marriage, released by the Pastors Roundtable on Monday. The organization represents 200 congregations and includes about 37 pastors, most of whom are evangelical, he said.

The news release focused on the belief that "marriage is a lifelong commitment between one woman and one man," according to Genesis 1:27-28. During one of the most divisive issues in history, the group also urged both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy to "treat each other with kindness and compassion," affirming that homosexuals deserve dignity and respect.

He continued, "We gotta learn how to be humble and not grumble when we're waiting to testify. We need to learn how to bless and not blast. We gotta be peacemakers and not troublemakers. And at the special session we have to be persuasive, not abrasive."






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Makapuu4 wrote:
Enough of this same sex marriage stuff. The bill's going to pass anyway and it will be a moot issue in a couple of weeks. Time for us to pick on another minority - left handed people. What's up with that? Everyone should be right handed. I haven't been able to find anything about left handedness being an abomination in my bible, yet. I'll keep looking. I heard that Cain was left handed and that the serpent would have been left handed, if he had hands. And, even worse are these amBIdextrous types. What's next both hands and a foot (or even two feet). It makes me want to puke. These people will soon be promoting "footing." Certainly these are all genetic mutants. Where will it end? And, what about our children? What if they see one of their classmates using their left hand. Kids are curious and rebellious. They will want to try the left handed lifestyle. Are these left handers going to try to force scissor manufacturers to make more left handed scissors. Won't that raise the cost of traditional scissors for all of us normal right handers? And, Obama is left handed. That alone should be enough to bring all of you tbgrs to the cause. Are you with me? What do you say?
on October 26,2013 | 05:33AM
Makapuu4 wrote:
Enough of this same sex marriage stuff. The bill's going to pass anyway and it will be a moot issue in a couple of weeks. Time for us to pick on another minority - left handed people. What's up with that? Everyone should be right handed. I haven't been able to find anything about left handedness being an abomination in my bible, yet. I'll keep looking. I heard that Cain was left handed and that the serpent would have been left handed, if he had hands. And, even worse are these amBIdextrous types. What's next both hands and a foot (or even two feet). It makes me want to puke. These people will soon be promoting "footing." Certainly these are all genetic mutants. Where will it end? And, what about our children? What if they see one of their classmates using their left hand. Kids are curious and rebellious. They will want to try the left handed lifestyle. Are these left handers going to try to force scissor manufacturers to make more left handed scissors. Won't that raise the cost of traditional scissors for all of us normal right handers? And, Obama is left handed. That alone should be enough to bring all of you tbgrs to the cause. Are you with me? What do you say?
on October 26,2013 | 05:33AM
jp12 wrote:
Uh... How does this relate to same sex marriage???
on October 26,2013 | 08:23AM
Makapuu4 wrote:
jp12 sounds like a closet left hander.
on October 26,2013 | 08:28AM
wiliki wrote:
Or those sinister ambi types....
on October 26,2013 | 12:38PM
wiliki wrote:
LOLOLOL Great!
on October 26,2013 | 12:37PM
Hank13 wrote:
Let's get rid of people calling other people homophobes!
on October 26,2013 | 03:36PM
Makapuu4 wrote:
Let's get rid of homophobes!
on October 26,2013 | 04:10PM
Hank13 wrote:
That would also work.
on October 26,2013 | 07:28PM
Makapuu4 wrote:
Let's get rid of homophobes!
on October 26,2013 | 04:11PM
jomama wrote:
I feel so bad for those poor Christians being picked on by gay people.
on October 26,2013 | 04:45PM
DRH wrote:
They love it - it makes all their naughty parts tingle.
on October 29,2013 | 07:29PM
Nala007 wrote:
Rev. Cardines is not a Priest. Come on Star Advertiser. Don't use misleading headlines. He is protestant.
on October 26,2013 | 08:04AM
wiliki wrote:
It's ironic that in medieval times, Muslims thought that all Catholic priests were homosexuals.
on October 26,2013 | 12:40PM
jomama wrote:
A large percent are. And who cares?
on October 26,2013 | 04:46PM
Kuihao wrote:
I didn't know the Taliban had priests...
on October 26,2013 | 09:19AM
Nala007 wrote:
The Hawaii Christian Taliban wants to impose its will on everyone. They are going to be very disappointed next week.
on October 26,2013 | 10:33AM
wiliki wrote:
If churches insist that anything that they do in the church does not concern the general public, then should we continue to exempt their income from performing weddings for tourists? Or to exempt their property tax for such commercial use. Churches want all the advantages of religious use and all the profits from commercial use. They can't have it both ways.....
on October 26,2013 | 12:36PM
Nala007 wrote:
Apparently Rev. Cardines forgot the commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." He along with his cronies are on a campaign spreading lies and misinformation about the marriage bill.
on October 26,2013 | 01:14PM
DRH wrote:
Amen.
on October 29,2013 | 07:34PM
Makapuu4 wrote:
Left hander.
on October 26,2013 | 04:10PM
nakamuram002 wrote:
Interesting -- Cardines objects to the public accomodation clause, which covers "for profit" activities by a church. Maybe he considers his church and it's activities as "for profit"?
on October 28,2013 | 09:40AM
DRH wrote:
Comments on “Gay marriage exemptions ineffective, priest says” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Saturday 26 October 2013: Cardines asks: “…who is the government to tell the church what they are allowed to do?” Shouldn’t that be: “who is the church to tell the government what it is allowed to do?” In our country, marriage is a civil action; ministers can marry two individuals because the government has authorized them to perform that secular activity. Revoke that authorization – then ministers needn’t fret about the sex of the individuals as they wouldn’t be able to marry them. Others authorized by the state to perform that action – justices-of-the-peace, judges, and ship captains – could perform the marriage ceremony, and couples, if they wished, could have their union blessed by a minister. This is what a church wedding is today; as a representative of the state, a minister marries, and as a representative of the church, he blesses. Problem solved. In biblical times, the wife and children were the property of the husband. The bible allows a father to kill a disobedient child and admonishes a wife to “honor and obey her husband.” Marriage was between one man and four women – if that man were wealthy enough to buy that many wives. Marriage was a civil contract transferring the ownership of a piece of property, a young woman, from one man, her father, to another, her husband – and the bible lays out the proper procedure for selling your daughters. For those whom have written to the editor stating that marriage should follow “God’s Bible,” I ask, how many goats is your daughter worth? As for the Hawaii Kai B & B, that was a business, money changed hands, and there are laws regulating such activities; be good Christians and share what you have with others; forget about money – God will provide, and without money changing hands you can control the use of your facilities. Mrs. Cardines, I suspect that the schools will say as much about same sex marriage as they do about the millions of people killed in the name of a foreign god forced upon them by an emperor because of a dream he had had. Think how different the western world would be today if Constantine hadn’t had that snack before he went to bed.
on October 29,2013 | 07:13PM
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