Our Religious Freedoms are Under Assault. Wake Up.
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.