Joseph Backholm
Joseph Backholm

via DoucheTube

Last I heard, Joseph Backholm left Family Policy Institute of Washington to join the Colson Center. Backholm is famous for his failed petition efforts in Washington State. It is my considered opinion that one of these was a scam to put money into the Christian supremacist’s pockets.

Joseph Backholm is now with Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group. On Tuesday he wrote: The Left’s (Real) Issue with Amy Coney Barrett for FRC’s blog. Apparently, according to the title, people who oppose Barrett’s confirmation have obfuscated their motivations.

I will get to the LGBTQ issues that Backholm details. However, Backholm first says that the real objection to Barrett is over abortion:

They’re upset about abortion. Whatever accusations may surface about the puppies she has tortured and the secret racism her adoption of black kids is clearly trying to hide, they aren’t really worried about puppies and racism. They’re terrified that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Roe v. Wade is to the Left what John 3:16 is to Christians; it’s the promise that no matter what happens in life, it’s not a permanent problem. The prospect of losing Roe is more than simply a difference in policy.

No one is trying to “hide” the importance of reproductive rights. Those rights were important enough to be recognized by the Supreme Court nearly a half-century ago with the ruling in Roe v. Wade which remains the law of the land.

I am not “terrified” but concerned. It is not just the importance of abortion rights that is troubling. If a 47 year-old ruling is overturned then the doctrine of stare decisis no longer exists. Respect for precedents is an essential part of American jurisprudence because it provides consistency from administration to administration and from justices to justices.

Of equal importance is the fact that, when the Court has overruled itself, it has either restored or granted rights that were compromised by a prior ruling. Were Roe v. Wade overturned the ruling would obliterate rights that currently exist.

Perhaps most importantly, overturning Roe means that the highest court in the land is making decisions based upon religion. Moreover, the effect would be that only poor people cannot get abortions. The rest will simply travel to a state where abortion remains legal or stock up on the necessary pharmaceuticals in advance. The comparison to John 3:16 is idiotic.

Most Christians are in favor of the ruling in Roe v. Wade. Overall, support is about 70%. As Pew Research points out:

The new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted July 22-August 4 [2019] among 4,175 adults, also finds little support for overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion. Seven-in-ten say they do not want to see the Roe v. Wade decision completely overturned; 28% say they would like to see the Supreme Court completely overturn the 1973 decision.

Were Roe overturned it might represent the last time that any meaningful number of Republicans are elected to serve in Congress. Rather than overturning Roe the Court might permit states to continue to chip away at abortion rights and that is equally troubling. These state laws only really affect poor women.


They are concerned that bakers and florists who prefer not to decorate for same-sex weddings will retain the freedom to choose.

We are concerned that some people will have a right to violate valid nondiscrimination laws. The Masterpiece Cakeshop case only applies to religious hostility in determining whether or not someone has broken the law. I’ll refrain from offering the complete litany but we all subsidize public accomodations.

… allow people to say things they dislike without restrictions. The world they envision is “tolerant,” but they can’t create a “tolerant” world if people are allowed to do and say things they view as “intolerant.” If people retain the freedom to do and say things they dislike, the world they long to see can’t be realized. That world requires them to control the Supreme Court so that the First Amendment protects only the freedom of worship—not the freedom of religion—and only sometimes guarantees the freedom of speech, but definitely not when it’s “hate speech.”

First of all, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been prosecuted for what Backholm considers hate speech. Freedom of Speech in the United States is sacrosanct. Tolerance has nothing to do with rulings by the Supreme Court. Decisions in Loving v. VA, US v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges were all based on 14th Amendment rights to Equal Protection and Due Process. Lawrence v. Texas was underpinned by a right to privacy.

The First Amendment does not include “freedom of religion.” Rather it provides for free exercize. Since 1879 that has meant a right to believe and to practice; not to impose religious beliefs on others. Religious duties do not serve to excuse law breaking.

Eventually Backholm concludes:

Politically, they understand that this nomination is likely to be confirmed, but they will not go quietly into that good night, because Amy Coney Barrett represents a value system they believe is the source of all wars, bigotry, and substance abuse issues in the LGBT community. They believe she will cause careers to be ruined by unwanted pregnancies and deaths from back-alley abortions. They believe it is a matter of life and death—that’s why they will act like it’s a matter of life and death.

Joseph Backholm hasn’t the first clue what I believe. I do believe that religious fanaticism results in anti-LGBTQ bigotry. I do believe that religious fanaticism creates strife — 9/11 being the perfect example.

I do believe that restrictions on abortion will lead to “unwanted pregnancies and deaths from back-alley abortions.” That conclusion is simply a matter of common sense as opposed to some political doctrine.

Minority stress does create drug abuse (note how Backholm is anxious to portray LGBTQ people as drug abusers). I believe that, according to well established precedence, people do not have a lawful religious duty to violate applicable laws. Even Justice Scalia said so.

I also believe that the separation of church and state is one of America’s core values. Amy Coney Barrett seems not to respect that demarcation. Unfortunately we will only know that by her rulings. Then it is too late to do anything about it because she will have a lifetime appointment.

Finally, I believe that there were better, less controversial candidates to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. Allowing us to be free from religion isn’t too much to ask for.

Mr. Backholm is a dependable bigot. He excuses his aberrant behavior by framing it as a religious obligation. No one has prosecuted him for promoting anti-LGBTQ bigotry. I have a First Amendment right to criticize Joseph Backholm. Justice Alito was correct (US v. Windsor). In my opinion people like Backholm are superstitious fools.

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