Pastors respond to Leahy-Sanders support of gay marriage bill, no vote on religious liberty

Loss of churches’ tax-exempt status? “Who really cares, anyway? Do it,” Williston pastor adds

By Guy Page

Two Vermont pastors are expressing concern about the no vote cast by Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders on a religious freedom amendment to the gay marriage bill.

The Respect for Marriage Act (H8404) passed the US Senate Tuesday after Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s proposed religious freedom amendment failed 48-49. Both Leahy and Sanders voted no on the Lee amendment and yes on the bill.

The switcheroo on the religious liberty amendment concerns me, as does the silence by either Senator Welch or Sanders as to the importance of preserving basic religious liberty rights.”

– John Klar

“If a majority of Americans support gay marriage, our Republic has now appropriately provided for that in the law,” John Klar of Brookfield wrote in a response to a VDC inquiry yesterday about the Senate votes. “But if a majority wishes to demonize or inflict prejudicial retaliation against people of faith, or ban public readings of scripture from the Koran, Torah, or Bible, that would be a violation of basic First Amendment principles.”

Klar is a farmer, lawyer, former pastor, and 2022 GOP candidate for Vermont State Senate. As of this morning, only Klar had responded to a query posed to 12 Vermont pastors. He doesn’t dispute that a Legislature, not a court, is the pright lace to settle the issue of gay marriage. Although he argues that the current Supreme Court was unlikely to overturn a previous Supreme Court decision making gay marriage legal.

“The purported necessity to prevent judicial activism is silly and misplaced — just as Ruth Bader Ginsberg believed Roe v Wade was extremist because it legislated through the judiciary, so too some justices observed in Dobbs that gay marriage was not a social issue that should be determined by the Supreme Court,” Klar said. “Ironically, by enacting this law, Congress has acted consistently with those views — that the gay marriage decision should have been achieved legislatively rather than by judicial fiat. 

“But the switcheroo on the religious liberty amendment concerns me, as does the silence by either Senator Welch or Sanders as to the importance of preserving basic religious liberty rights. If a majority of Americans support gay marriage, our Republic has now appropriately provided for that in the law. But if a majority wishes to demonize or inflict prejudicial retaliation against people of faith, or ban public readings of scripture from the Koran, Torah, or Bible, that would be a violation of basic First Amendment principles. It is not clear what Sanders and Welch opposed in the Lee Amendment, which was very clear in its protections of religious liberties. I pray we do not see an increase in hostility toward people of faith, and that the Respect of Marriage Act does not become a pathway to a Disrespect of Religious Freedoms.”

Both Leahy and Sanders voted for an earlier ‘religious liberty’ amendment that was opposed by the Alliance Defending Freedom and virtually all of the ‘social conservative’ senators. ADF, a legal advocacy organization, said the amendment sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) offered only ‘lip service’ to religious liberties, leaving individuals and organizations open to government restrictions and private action lawsuits. 

Todd Callahan

The Senate version of H8404 must be reconciled with the original House version before it can be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.  

Pastor Todd Callahan of Ignite Church in Williston also weighed in on the ramifications of the Respect for Marriage bill, if it becomes law.

“I was speaking with our midweek service last night about the passing of this, and I do 100% believe they will eventually turn any opposition of gay marriage, lifestyles of homosexuality and transgerderism, into eventual hate speech, leading to fines or imprisonment,” Pastor Callahan said. “I think they will make a separation between free speech and hate speech as it relates to this and they are going to make another attempt to legislate morality through the guise of “hate speech”. I also think they will begin stripping 501c3 away from churches who do not marry homosexuals and approve of gay marriage, but who really cares anyway. Do it.

“I think we are going to have to greatly encourage pastors, Christians and spiritual leaders alike to push back and continue to preach the Gospel regardless of the persecution and backlash by government and culture,” Callahan said. “Some are about to really be tested on what they are willing to preach and there is a massive separation of Kingdom-minded churches and those who are feeble and weak coming because of this.”

Categories: Legislation

31 replies »

  1. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

    Those who support the State in our bedrooms, regulating our ‘free speech’, and our right to practice our spiritual or religious beliefs are not like you and me.

    But we are reaping what have been accepting for the past 70 years… one little compromise, willful ignorance, and tiny contract at a time… we reap what we sow.

    This is a repetitive pattern, however, in humanity’s history that we continue NOT to learn from – that ONLY results in tyranny for the People of the Land. The archons are not like you and me, and will never ‘legislate’ fairness, truth or equinimity.

    We are doused with soparifics from gadgets to entertainment to legalized drugs, and dedjucated into the system.

    Those who buck the system are demonized, marginalized, and eventually…crucified.

    Happening now.

  2. This may come down to being between a rock and a hard place for churches. Either lose $$ from the 501c status or the donations from the worshippers.

    • If a church loses its 501c3 tax status because of this a tithe to that church is disallowed as well!

  3. Sadly, I’m sure many of you are aware that several churches have drifted toward liberalism. One in particular in Montpelier is attended, and supported, by Bernie lovers. Others are leaning that way.

    • Why is this ‘sad’. I mean, find me a more Marxist credo than “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.”

      I find no gospel argument for lesser taxes on the rich, while the burdens on the poor increase.

      And in Acts 2:44-45 & 4:32-35: “All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”

      Tell me that does not sound like a syndicalist co-op. Or, for that matter, Marx’s “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”.

      • First of all, Guzziman, Jesus never taught Marxism or Socialism. One of His titles is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is a Monarchist who shares His title with no one. And secondly, Jesus was talking about doing this in a closed group. ONLY among fellow Believers. Today we would call them born again, Bible-believing Christians. Jesus never advocated Believers doing this among the whole population of pagan Romans at large. And He never advocated using secular government to take from one group to redistribute wealth to another. The passage you are quoting you sadly took WAY out of context, which tells me you do not know your Bible. You can’t just grab a passage from a book you don’t know very well. Also, do you have the guts to use your real name on here as I am doing? And what church do you attend? Where?

  4. Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

    9. When we introduced into the State organism the poison of Liberalism its whole political complexion underwent a change. States have been seized with a mortal illness – blood poisoning. All that remains is to await the end of their death agony.



    Globalist, Communist, tired old worthless politicians…. Begone.

  5. In terms of public accommodation laws, there is a big difference between a cake baker refusing to sell a blank cake from his stock to someone because they are a member of a protected class and him refusing to decorate it in a manner that is understandably abhorrent to his religious beliefs. By decorating it in a custom manner, he is essentially being asked to PARTICIPATE in the event. Would anyone really expect a Jewish baker to decorate a cake with swastikas for a neo-nazi client? Would anyone expect an LGBT+ baker to customize a cake for the Topeka Kansas Westboro Baptist Church with blatantly homophobic imagery? Most people of common sense would understand the refusal, and the last 2 examples are not even protected by the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections.

  6. Yet, the New World Order can refuse service to a person not wearing a mask, not jabbed, or considered to have a low social credit score as the Western governments and CHINA do right now. The sorcery of using religion as an oppressive force is how they deceive and manipulate. Some religions are infiltrated and compromised by government entities using money and threats to tow the line. Some churches do not preach the Word, but rather twist it around to suit the man, not the Lord. There are other religions with zero tolerance of the LGBTQRST movement. As government overlords continue on this path to bring forth the rapture on their timeline, the universe (our Creator, our Lord, whomever suits ones belief) will not allow it, and they will bear the consequences of their actions. All corrupted and compromised powers created by man collapse and fail. 2000 years of history proves it to be so.

    • Melissa, the Green (Communist) Agenda, crypto currency, planet wide vax mandates and lockdowns, the destruction of unborn human life and religious freedom, and the perversion of Judeo-Christian marriage and sexuality are all signs of the Last Days. Read Rabbi Cahn’s book!

      • The Bible works for me. My eyes and ears do not deceive me – nothing new under the sun and there are no coincidences. Anything one needs to know about what is going on can be found in the Bible. If you ever listen to Yuval Noah Harari speak, your blood will run cold. The antidote to these demons is the mention of Jesus Christ and their blood runs cold.

      • FYI – I have listened to Rabbi Cahn speak as well as many others. Discernment is necessary they will tell you. Any word given by man should be taken to the Lord and reference made to the Word for further study.

    • Considering that 150 John Klar signs were vandalized and/or stolen during the campaign days, I rather like seeing these surviving ones remain…consider it a form of payback to the cowardly liberal vandals…

  7. What is the implication of “do it” here? Does it mean that Gospel preaching churches marry same sex couples now?
    Read “Letter to the American Church” by Eric Metaxas to see a fore shadowing of where this is headed.

    • John. This is Pastor Todd. I think you know me well enough to know that is not the implication .My reference to “do it” is to take away to 501c3. The comments that were posted in this article were from an email, not from a verbal conversation. But you should know what I stand for than to ask a question like that referencing a comment I made.

      • Pastor Todd, if you have not yet bought and read Rabbi Cahn’s book “The Return of the Gods”, do it soonest! God bless you!

      • Hello Todd,
        I do think that I know you well enough to not dispute your position on this matter and I applaud you for it. I would like to make it clear that my comment was directed to the church, in general and those who shepherd them, and not to you or Ignite church.

        While I would continue to support a Bible teaching church regardless I nevertheless plan to take back a tax deductible charitable contribution if available. Ultimately that will be a decision for believers to make. What is “disgusting” about this would be the church tactically agreeing without resisting.

        If I offended you in my comment it was not intentional and I both apologize and ask for your forgiveness. Let us not be separate but one in Christ!

        Blessings to you as well,

        I do urge you to read the book if you have not.

  8. We cannot worship Caesar. If it comes down to a choice between worshiping Caesar or losing our 501 c 3 status, lose the status. I STRONGLY recommend that each person on this thread immediately buy and read Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s new book “The Return of the Gods”. And I do mean IMMEDIATELY!! I guarantee it is unlike anything you have ever read. It will tell you exactly what is going on in regards to the issues being discussed on this thread. Wake up, people. There is more going on here than you know! Please read Rabbi Cahn’s book immediately. You can get it online or at Barnes and Noble in South Burlington. It is now a New York Times bestseller and Rabbi Cahn is a well known author. He is also a Believer. Please. Buy. It. Immediately. It will blow your socks off. The old gods have returned to Vermont and to America.

  9. This development can and I hope will begin to separate those who are willing to live their faith regardless of its acceptability in the world. That is not to say I support the suppression of free speech. In my mind too many churches have become an island unto themselves, huge buildings, multi media presentations, multiple paid staffers…many have become an economy unto themselves. Whenever the true church has been pressured it has always flourished. Perhaps it’s time for church bodies to become smaller and more spread out, and the concept of the priesthood of believers to be embraced. Do we really need huge buildings and payrolls to live as Christians in this world? Just food for thought.

  10. Hey Kay:

    “Also, do you have the guts to use your real name on here as I am doing?”

    No, because apparently there have been threats made against me on here – which were moderated out by admin. So you see limits to free speech exist even here. And I am fully aware that those threats MUST come from liberals, BLMs and commies as those on the right would never threaten such things. Nonetheless I am content that those filthy Marxists are moderated when they threaten me.

    “And what church do you attend? Where?”

    I travel a lot, so my attendance is about 2 to 3 times a month. But when on the road I seek out a similar church. I suppose definitionally I am a High Anglican – the bells and smells crowd.

    And what church do you attend? Where?

    • Since you have avoided answering my question directly I will give you back the same. I am a born again Believer who attends a born again Bible believing church. I did not ask you what denomination you were. You won’t give me your real name or the church you attend. I gave you my real name, at least. It is easy to poke at others behind the screen of anonymity. Fess up.

  11. My comment of “do it” in my email and CC”d reply that was embedded into the article, is referring to the 501c3. “Do it” means take the 501c3. Who cares.…we will still preach the uncompromising Word of God regardless of what the government says. Not sure why I have to clarify that in this article, but I wanted to clear that up for any other who have a difficult time with context.

  12. High Anglican basically is almost the same as saying that you are a Catholic or a Lutheran etc. I am not interested in your denomination. What is your relationship to Jesus? Who is He to you? The denomination is not as important as your personal relationship to Jesus. AND you need to be careful about how you use a Bible passage. The one you chose was taken out of context and applies only to a closed group. The Believers. I am curious though about where you got the original explanation you first gave. Who told you it meant Marxism was in the Bible?

    • Respectfully, no Christian should ever demand from another to detail their personal relationship with God. The “church” is the body and where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there. No building or temple necessary. No allegiance to a specific denomination necessary. Any legitimate Pastor or Phrophet will direct you to the Word in the Bible to discern for yourself what is True. The Lord directs his faithful, not man. The problem with certain people of faith is they demand of others to do as they interpret the Bible to mean – no person has that power, only God. Ephesian 6: 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

  13. God will prevail, these lunatics including Sanders, Leahy, Ballant and Welch will all be going straight to Hell.

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