Our Religious Freedoms are Under Assault. Wake Up.

By Michael Brown Published on July 4, 2016

There is no freedom in America more fundamental than the freedom of religion, but on this Fourth of July, as we celebrate the 240th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, that freedom is under serious assault.

It is not an assault that says that we cannot hold to certain beliefs in the privacy of our homes or in our church gatherings (although that appears to be coming soon as well). Rather, it is an assault that says, “You shall not practice your faith in the public square.”

Consider the implications of California’s SB-1146, a bill “that requires Christian schools to disclose if they are seeking traditional religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, and strips public funding from any school that imposes traditional Christian rules of morality and conduct on matters of sexual orientation and gender identity. Only schools that train pastors are exempt. The message is clear: Conform or close” (quoting David French).

In other words, this bill would effectively shut down any Christian college or university in California that holds to Christian morality, since without public funding, these schools could not operate. Put another way, the government is saying, “Abandon Christian teaching on sexuality and gender, or cease to operate.” And this radical, ridiculous bill seems poised to pass.

As reported on the ReligiousLiberty.tv website, “On June 30, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee passed SB 1146 by a margin of 7-2. The vote, taken along party lines, with the abstention of one Republican, means that the bill, which has already passed the California Senate, will now be passed on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.”

How many Christians even know about this? Where is the national outcry?

The courts have already ruled against the rights of Christian campus groups, ordering them to allow non-Christians (or, professing Christians who are in violation of Christian morality) into leadership if they want to continue on campus. As I pointed out in 2012, this would mean that a Muslim could lead the local InterVarsity Christian Fellowship club at your local campus, but by the logic of the Supreme Court’s decision, this would not apply to the campus’s Young Democrat’s club, which would not be required to allow a Republican to lead their group.

As Justice Samuel Alito pointed out in his dissenting opinion, “The majority opinion rested on the principle of ‘no freedom of expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.’” And he warned, “The court’s treatment of this case is deeply disappointing” and its decision “arms public educational institutions with a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups,” these days, meaning Christian groups above all.

And now the courts have struck yet again.

As Ben Shapiro observed, “In the latest sign that the judiciary has gone completely off the rails, a judge has now forced the owners of ChristianMingle.com, Spark, to include same-sex matches on their website. Two gay men decided that there simply weren’t enough gay dating websites on the internet, and sued ChristianMingle.com in 2013. Now, under the settlement agreement, the webpage asks merely whether you are a man or a woman, rather than a ‘man seeking a woman’ or a ‘woman seeking a man.’”

So, Christian colleges and universities in California along with a Christian online dating site are being told that if they want to stay in operation, they must abandon the clear teaching of the Bible along with the 2,000-year-old tradition of virtually all branches of the Church worldwide (until recent decades).

To repeat, the message is clear: “You shall not practice your faith in the public square!”

Sadly, rather than refuse to comply with this ungodly and unjust ruling, ChristianMingle.com has agreed to introduce same-sex searches within the next two years, with Shapiro noting that the “terms of the settlement also open up CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com, and BlackSingles.com to same-sex searches.” As he correctly states, “This is pure insanity.”

From a scriptural point of view, this is what Jesus warned about when He said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25). Unless ChristianMingle.com agreed to these terms simply to buy time, they have now sold their Christian soul in order to save their business, which is the guaranteed path to spiritual suicide.

But it gets worse.

If gay activists like Dan Savage have their way (and remember that Savage’s allies include the current president of the United States), Christians will not be allowed to hold to biblical morality in any setting, since our alleged homophobia is directly linked to a radical Muslim slaughtering gays and lesbians in a gay bar. In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, Savage wrote, “Love is the cure—love and gun control and fully funded mental-health services and zero tolerance for anti-gay and anti-trans bigotry with no exceptions for ‘religious beliefs,’ sincerely held or otherwise.

“No sanctuary for liars, no safe place for bigots, no refuge for haters.” That means “zero tolerance” for people like you and me because of our “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

In his podcast, Savage makes himself perfectly clear: It is time to make “demands” on our society, including “an end to homophobia and to transphobia and a demand for accountability for those who promote it whether they’re promoting it in a church or a mosque or a legislature” — and bear in mind that Savage and his allies characterize traditional Judeo-Christian teaching on LGBT issues to be homophobic and transphobic.

Yes, a gay activist is demanding that Christians be held accountable for believing the Bible.

And so, on this 240th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we need a fresh new revolution — but not a revolution of violence and certainly not a revolution of hatred. Rather, while walking in love towards all and while affirming the equal rights of all of our citizens, we need to rally together as one, refusing to compromise one iota in our biblically based moral values, whatever the cost or consequence.

Conservative believers in America, will you continue to slumber or will you wake up?

Now is the time to awake.

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  • Patmos

    Dan Savage is a selfish pervert.

    • It is a good thing that Dan Savage is not a bigoted hater like us Christians. /sarc.

      • Gary

        Everyone is a bigot. If someone says they are not, they are also a liar.

  • Gary

    Better for Christian businesses, including colleges, to go out of business rather than compromise their beliefs. But, Christians must exact a penalty on their enemies who seek to rob them of freedom of religion. Since Christians are unlikely to win in court, then don’t even waste time and money fighting it in court. Find another way.

    • eddiestardust

      NOPE you are wrong again Gary because it is YOUR First Amendment rights too…someday they will come after YOU for whatever reason!

    • Boris

      “Find another way.” Are you suggesting Christians go back back to hunting and burning heretics and harassing and murdering anyone who dares study nature or posit naturalistic explanations for things as Christians did for centuries during the Dark Ages? You’d just love a return to the Dark Ages when the churchmen had control of the Western World and China was the only place where science was flourishing. You could go back to telling everybody the Earth is flat as 20,000,000 of your fellow Christian Americans currently believe it is just as the Bible describes it. Check out the Flat Earth Society and how they “prove” the earth is flat with Bible verses and typical Christian woo woo pseudoscience. Are you a flat earther? Or are you one of those “modern” Christians who twists Bible verses to make it seem like the Bible says the earth is round?

      • Gary

        You are confusing Christians with Catholics. They are not the same thing. The Bible does not say the earth is flat. Neither does it say that Christians are to try to force people to believe the Bible. You are nothing but a God hating infidel. That’s fine with me. If that is what you want to be, have at it.

        • Boris

          You cannot hate something that does not exist. I wouldn’t expect anyone from your tin foil hat crowd to understand that simple concept.

        • Gregory Peterson

          “The Bible does not say the earth is flat.”

          Actually, it sort of does…of at least, could be read that way.

          Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”

          Proverbs 8:27- When he prepared the heavens, I was there, When he drew a circle on the face of the deep…

          • It takes a massive imagination to read into the two verses you quoted that the Bible says the earth is flat! And I do mean massive imagination as there is nothing there that even implies the world is flat! Perhaps you should go back and do some more study before posting ridiculous and infantile comments!

      • davidrev17

        “The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.”

        – Arno Penzias (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1978)

        “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”

        – Richard Feynman (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1965)

        “Much of present day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that it has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends anti-theories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Darwin conceived as a great theory has lately come to function as an anti-theory called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action — evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken — evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!”

        – Robert Laughlin (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1998)

        My friend, your own “a priori” (i.e., faith-based), worldview assumptions of “scientism,” “philosophical naturalism” (or “materialist naturalism”) are curious indeed; especially in light of quotations such as those above, which could actually be multiplied ad nauseam. And those by Dr.’s Penzias & Laughlin are even more illuminating, due to the fact that both are (were, for the late Arno Penzias) certifiable Bible-believing Christian’s! (You sound as though you’ve been educated at the “Richard Dawkins School of Crummy Philosophy & History of Science”??)

        Just for starters – since your paragraph presents such truly incoherent and/or anomalous thought processes, far-too-numerous to be adequately treated in the space provided – I honestly believe it would be immensely beneficial for you to take the time and study the content of just a few powerfully enlightening books, written by distinguished academic thinkers of whom are fully conversant with the language (or rhetoric) in this “war of worldviews,” still-raging in the West:

        “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions,” (2008), by distinguished mathematician and philosopher of science, Dr. David Berlinski. (And Mr. Berlinski is a self-professed “secular Jew.)

        “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?” (2009), mathematician and philosopher of science, professor Dr. John Lennox. (Mr. Lennox is a Bible-believing “evangelical” Christian.)

        “Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?” (2013), Second Edition, eminent computational quantum-chemist, professor Dr. Henry F. “Fritz” Schaefer. (Dr. Schaefer is also a Bible-believing “evangelical” Christian.)

        “Why Science Does Not Disprove God” (2014), the late (2015) Israeli-born mathematician, and lecturer on the History of Science & Mathematics, Dr. Amir D. Aczel. This was his last, of 18 highly popular books written on mathematics and physics.

        * * *

        I do look forward to encountering your dialogue on these matters, in the not-too-distant future my friend; that is, after you’ve taken the necessary time to digest & assimilate the facts revealed in the very small-sampling of books mentioned above.

        And “Facts are [truly] stubborn things…”

        • Boris

          Yes and the fact is that every Christian college and university in the world that teaches life sciences teaches evolution exactly as it is taught in secular schools. Everyone notice that none of quotes supplied in David fake rev’s post are from biologists the only people qualified to talk about biological evolution. “And Mr. Berlinski is a self-professed “secular Jew.” Who was captured on tape admitting he writes whatever the Discovery Institute pays him to write. Hoaxer all the way, paid hoaxer. ROFL!

    • Gregory Peterson

      Gay people aren’t your enemy. By targeting them for discrimination and segregation, you are their enemy. You are attacking their freedom to go about their lawful business in the public sphere like any other adult. Where is the morality in “We don’t serve your kind here?”

      I mean, it’s not like America, especially in the Bible Belt, hasn’t done that before.

      You treat all adults like your fellow adults, and you won’t have to invent enemies were none would otherwise exist.

  • LKR

    I agree with Dan Savage for the first, and probably last, time. The cure is Love, the love of Jesus Christ. He is the very definition of love and the only cure for what ails our nation. God gives free will so can the government really do any less? The highest form of government is self-government and the most vocal conservatives in my life are outraged over what is happening in the private sector while refusing to practice their faith in their own homes and lives. Prayer, bible reading, worship and all manner of sharing the Gospel should start at home. How can anyone be outraged over prayer in school when there is no prayer in their own home? How can people be vehemently outraged over same-sex marriage because they believe in the sanctity of marriage, yet they are fine with seeking their own divorce? The list goes on and on. I am fully awake and very cognizant of the continued hypocrisy that is surely distasteful to the Lord.

  • dave jones

    Trying to right the wrongs of the past sounds right and good. But, using force of law to do it may and have had unexpected results like in the case of Civil Rights law. Now, we see how we cannot have a ‘protected class’ group of people that can ‘trump’ Constitutional rights that are clearly given in the 1st Amendment. This crisis is highlighting that we cannot have both religious liberty and a protected LGBT group of people that demand that we cannot hold our beliefs. Civil Rights law needs to be reformed to resolve this crisis and it needs to be led by the group of people who it was intended to affect the most, our Black Christian friends and family.

    • Boris

      “This crisis is highlighting that we cannot have both religious liberty and a protected LGBT group of people that demand that we cannot hold our beliefs” Binary thinking at its most absurd. You can hold whatever beliefs you want but you cannot force other people to hold or even respect those beliefs. Religious liberty does not mean that your religion can assert authority over infidels, especially since we all have to pay higher taxes because religion gets a free and undeserved tax exemption.

    • Gregory Peterson

      I don’t think that you know what a “protected class” means. It simply means a person who cannot be targeted for discrimination.

      What justification can there be to target for discrimination law abiding minority adults going about their lawful business in the public sphere? You want to discriminate against them, open a church.

  • dave jones

    @disqus_ElxVJPCjj8:disqus I see this in my email reply but no reply in the post? did you delete it? “This crisis is highlighting that we cannot have both religious liberty and a protected LGBT group of people that demand that we cannot hold our beliefs” Binary thinking at its most absurd. You can hold whatever beliefs you want but you cannot force other people to hold or even respect those beliefs. Religious liberty does not mean that your religion can assert authority over infidels, especially since we all have to pay higher taxes because religion gets a free and undeserved tax exemption.” my response -> I’ve heard that term binary and it’s a strange term to me. Binary meaning that there is only one and off or the idea in philosophy of the either / or argument? When you said that I can hold whatever beliefs, even if they disagree this your views on sexuallty and disbelieve in your worldview? If that was true, why then does your community and leaders insist then on laws and media and political campaigns (like the human rights campaign) that in fact intend to limit and/or punish such views? I simply do not believe that, even if you are sincere. you’re just absolutely wrong. Also your same old accusations that we are the ones who are pushing our views and religion like Islamist do, is groundless and ridiculous in the light of Orlando. If you really want equality and a peaceful co-existence than demonstrate that by allowing us who disagree to live civilly beside you without harassment from either side and more importantly without government intrusion that is clearly defined by 1st Amendment.

    • Boris

      No the Stream routinely deletes my posts because they fear anyone who tells the truth. This tells us exactly what would happen to freedom of speech should the Bible thumpers ever gain control of our government. The Stream does not allow an even playing field because they know their dogmas and doctrines are indefensible.

    • Boris

      Oh please. You people are angry that you cannot force public school students to pray to your God. You are angry because you cannot force Intelligent Design Magic into our public school science classes. You’re angry that you cannot post religious commandments that demand the worship of only one god in a country founded on freedom of and FROM religion. When you people stop trying to assert authority over infidels then and only then can we have a peaceful coexistence.

  • dave jones

    @disqus_ElxVJPCjj8:disqus I’m not sure that we can talk as 2 individuals but I wish we could. you who seem to be agnostic or atheist in your worldview. I understand that you have bitter judgements against Christians and Religious people. I also understand your anger that you didn’t acknowledge as well. What anger I have, I have found that bitter anger and hate against another (or a group of people) is like drinking poison and hoping that the another one dies. So, anger is no way to live for me as a Christian. but again, I ask you. do we have the same rights that you now have? To express and live out our lives and have equal rights under the law according to the 1st Amendment? The right to express our belief in a creator who I believed designed all things according to His will? The right to post (written) and verbally express our ideas about morality? I hope that you will find a better way to live and find the peace that I have found in Christ Jesus.

  • Revelation 13:17, Michael, Revelation 13:17.

    It’s here. It’s now. It’s irrefutable.

  • Ashley Bowen

    You know, out of curiosity, I used to read that sick, demented faggot’s column (excuse my language), but now I see where his true colors lie. I know a lot of juice about Dan Savage. About how when he was 15 he was sexually abused by a FEMALE friend of the family while still thinking about lying with men, has his erect penis fondled by women while thinking about men (even while his “husband” is away), he used to be a Catholic, but now calls himself an agnostic; yet this man goes off into a hate spree of heterosexual Christianity by calling it “The most immoral thing on this planet” (that’s not actually his words; I’m just paraphrasing his dislike). This guy, Dan Savage, is a true hypocrite. He maybe “married” to a man, but I don’t think that having women play with his penis tells me that he’s actually gay. He’s just an out-and-out atheist trying to tell his “devoted” followers that Christianity and women are evil, and that we need the crap beat out of us just like we supposedly did to the gays. Something of which is not true indeed. Now, I don’t mean to be a gossip, and I hope the Lord will forgive me for being so, but the truth about Dan Savage had to come out.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Once again recycling that old time religion of segregation, are we?

    What you’re demanding is special privileges for Christians to capriciously discriminate against “those people” in the public square as well as in education. Majoritarian tyranny is not what Religious Freedom is about. It was, however, what Jim Crow was about.

    “In other words, this bill would effectively shut down any Christian college or university in California that holds to Christian morality, since without public funding, these schools could not operate.”

    Well…so? Why should taxpayers pay for religiously sanctioned bigotry and discrimination? It’s not like “conservative” Christians haven’t been down that road before, with the Supreme Court’s decision on ‘Bob Jones University v. United States.’ BJU has survived.

    You want to segregate Gay people in religious education, at least do it on your own dime.

    The Christians that I know don’t care if someone is Gay. Same-sex searches in Christian Mingle sounds like: “Of course it should allow them. Gay people are Christians, too.” The “Mingles” aren’t official denominational outreaches, they’re businesses owned by New York Stock Exchange listed Spark Networks, Inc.

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      “The Christians that I know don’t care if someone is Gay.” Then you don’t really know any Christians – only Posers. ALL true Christians care if someone is Homosexual. Anyone who doesn’t care if an individual spends Eternity in the torment of the Lake Of fire can’t be a Christian.

      :Gay people are Christians, too.” Wrong again. One can NOT be a Christian while accepting, approving, endorsing, or in any way whatsoever supporting that which is in opposition to Jesus Christ. You can’t be a follower of Christ while calling good that which He has called evil.

      • Gregory Peterson

        Right…and when I was young. “conservative” Evangelicals were telling people that you couldn’t be a Christian and be for “miscegenation….Acts 17:26 blah blah blah.”

        So excuse me if I’m skeptical of “conservative” Evangelicalism’s claim to know what a real Christian is or isn’t.

        You’re a Christian in my book if you trust that there is a triune God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          Then Satan and his demons are Christians in your book because they believe that too. Beyond that, your book is not the same as God’s Word – 2nd Tim. 3:16.

          I’d suggest you read Matt. 7:21-23 because I would submit all those spoken of believed that there is a triune God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

          Jesus has stated VERY clearly what a Christian is. The etymology of the word itself is also self-defining.

  • Gregory Peterson

    “Yes, a gay activist is demanding that Christians be held accountable for believing the Bible.”

    And you think that is a bad thing? Christians shouldn’t have to explain their needs, wants and demands that impact other people in a large society of many religions and no-religion?

    Christians don’t “believe in the Bible,” which would be bibliolatry. Christians believe in the Triune God, of which the Bible attests.

    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      NO, since the Bible is the Word of God, true Christian DO believe in the Bible.

      • Gregory Peterson

        Still sounds like bibliolatry to me.

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          If you don’t believe in the Word of God as the final authority by which we must govern our lives then that leaves only one other’s word for which you do believe in and that is the height of idolatry.

  • TransPride

    Oh look, more fear mongering, LOVELY. You are not losing your freedom of religion/speech etc. Just the same as you aren’t getting your guns and gun rights taken away. We are just developing boundaries because before this both religious freedom of speech and guns could be used wily nilly. (Not guns as much but you get the point). So this fear mongering is pointless, and makes you look stupid..

  • “You shall not practice your faith in the public square.” What this statement actually says is the Christian-hating intolerant bigots desire is to remove the phrase “freedom of religion” by changing it to “freedom of worship.” Freedom of worship is a far different concept than freedom of religion. Freedom of worship first and foremost means keeping your religious faith beliefs strictly within the confines of the four walls of your own home and your own place of worship, and never saying a word outside of those two areas to anybody about your faith.

    One other point. Without freedom of speech freedom of religion is a worthless concept. Yet this is what the Christian-hating intolerant bigots want to impose on Christians first. What happens when they achieve their desired results and force Christianity underground? We know the answer. They will not stop with Christians but move on to the next largest religion in America then the next and the next and the next after that until religion no longer exist in the United States of America and maybe the United States of America as we know it now will no longer exist.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Well said, Dr. Brown. ChristianMingle should’ve had the wherewithal to take that to SCOTUS. And if they lost there they should’ve either closed down, changed their name, or sold off to someone else with the understanding that the word “Christian” couldn’t be used in the name. Just like Dr. Neil Clark Warren they have shown what they truly worship.

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