Pastors, They’re Coming for You!

America will soon hardly be recognizable, the antithesis of the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

By Michael Brown Published on October 27, 2016

OK, I get it.

The title of this article sounds conspiratorial and inflammatory. In fact, it sounds like a “shock” headline designed to get your attention. Who, after all, is this ambiguous “they” I’m referring to, and why are “they” coming for “you” — referring obviously to Christian leaders? And what, pray tell, are “they” coming to do to “you?”

So I’ll admit it. I did come up with the title of this article for shock value, but the fact is, you need to be shocked. It is only sensational because it is true.

Consider this October 26 headline on Fox News: “State of Georgia demands pastor turn over sermons.” Yes, “A lay minister who is suing the Georgia Department of Public Health for religious discrimination has been ordered by the state’s attorney general to relinquish his sermons to the government, according to federal court documents.”

In the words of Attorney General Samuel Olens, “Please produce a copy of your sermon notes and/or transcripts.”

And why is the state of Georgia demanding his sermon notes and/or transcripts?

As Todd Starnes reports, “Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister had been hired in May 2014 as a District Health Director with the Georgia Department of Public Health. A week later, a government official asked him to submit copies of his sermons for review. He complied and two days later he was fired.”

In other words, he was not fired because of any lack of qualification. To the contrary, he was highly qualified for the job.

As noted by attorney David French, Walsh’s resumé included “working for former President Bush and President Obama to combat AIDS, serving as a board member of the Latino Health Collaborative, and starting California’s first city-run dental clinic for low-income families dealing with HIV/AIDS,” but that “wasn’t sufficient to overcome the horror at Walsh’s Christian views.”

Yes, Walsh was fired for the unpardonable sin of preaching against homosexual practice, based on Scripture — and note that he was preaching this to his fellow-congregants, not giving a lecture to his staff. As Walsh’s lead attorney Jeremy Dys said, “He was fired for something he said in a sermon. If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything.”

Yes, continued Dys, “It’s an incredible intrusion on the sanctity of the pulpit. This is probably the most invasive reach into the pulpit by the state that I’ve ever seen.”

It’s No Surprise

But this should not surprise us at all. As I pointed out in 2013:

Already in April, 2009, an article in the Washington Post documented how, “Faith organizations and individuals who view homosexuality as sinful and refuse to provide services to gay people are losing a growing number of legal battles that they say are costing them their religious freedom.”

This was confirmed by Georgetown Law Professor Chai Feldblum, appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and herself an out and proud lesbian, when she remarked that when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

That’s why Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, was fired for his personally held beliefs about sexuality and marriage.

That’s why Dr. Angela McCaskill, associate provost of diversity and inclusion at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. (and herself deaf), was suspended from her job for signing a petition at her local church which called for a public vote on same-sex “marriage” (rather than for a legislative decision).

That’s why Crystal Dixon was fired from her position as Associate Vice President of Human Resources at the University of Toledo for writing an editorial in her local newspaper, taking issue with the idea that gay is the new black.

And the list goes on and on, growing on a regular basis, as I and others have documented now for years. (Just check out the chapter “Big Brother Is Watching, and He Really Is Gay” in A Queer Thing Happened to America for some sobering examples.)

And I used these three examples here because in each case, gay sensitivities not only trumped religious rights, they also demonstrated that, when it comes to “gay rights,” even black Americans can be perceived as victimizers rather than victims (Cochran, McCaskill, and Dixon were all black).

As we have now learned with Dr. Walsh (did I mention he’s black as well?), not even the pulpits are safe.

But this too should not surprise us. After all, it was just last year that Annise Parker, the lesbian mayor of Houston, along with the city attorney, David Feldman, demanded that five local pastors turn over their sermons, speeches, presentations, and even emails to congregants which addressed the issues of homosexuality and gender identity, among other subjects.

It was only when Parker and Feldman came under intense national pressure that they backed down, with Parker still denying that “the request[s] were in any way illegal or intended to intrude on religious liberties.” (I document this in detail in the chapter “The Day the Line Was Crossed” in Outlasting the Gay Revolution.)

With all respect to the mayor’s position, her explanation was absolute rubbish, and there is no question that what she did intruded on religious liberties.

The Church Must Resist!

As I warned last week, if Hillary Clinton is elected, this will only get worse. Even if Donald Trump is elected, abuses like this will continue on a local level for years to come. There’s only thing that can stop it, and that is simply the Church of Jesus, led by its pastors and elders, standing up to speak what is right and do what is right, regardless of cost or consequence. If we do, the tide will turn.

Now, I’m quite aware that I sound like a broken record, having written on this theme three times in two weeks, including this article (see here and here).

But I will keep sounding the alarm until God’s people wake up — beginning with the leaders — and with yet another example staring us in the face, we sleep on to our own peril, not to mention our lasting shame.

In recent days, I’ve been reading a terrific book by Dean G. Stroud entitled, Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich. And while I am absolutely not comparing our current government to Nazi Germany and while I do not believe we will go the way Nazi Germany went, I can’t help but see the striking parallels between our two countries, beginning with these incremental attacks on religious freedom, back then and today.

And so, while I am not saying that America will one day look like Nazi Germany, I am saying that very soon, America will hardly be recognizable, the antithesis of the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

After all, who would have believed that in the last two years, government officials would be demanding that pastors and Christian teachers turn over their sermons, sermons notes, and private emails dealing with sexual morality and that, in the last 10 years, Christians would be fired from their jobs or kicked out of their schools because of their privately held, biblical beliefs?

And so, I will say it again. It’s time to wake up!

 

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  • Christian Cowboy

    This is why this election cycle is so important – not just for President either. We need to elect Christian men and women at all levels.

    • Stephanie Helm

      TRUMP IS NOT A CHRISTIAN MAN HE IS AN ADULTERER AND A RAPIST

      • Wayne Cook

        Not true and your assertions have been debunked so many times it would seem you have your fingers in your ears. Get educated, woman.

      • 4freedom

        Your confused, get off the dope, your talking about convicted Clinton not Trump.

      • Gary

        I agree that Trump is not a Christian, and is an adulterer. I don’t know about him being a rapist. But I also know that compared to Hellary Clinton, Trump looks great. I voted for him yesterday.

      • myvotecounts

        Adulterer? Absolutely..Rapist? That is your opinion…Christian? I don’t know..some Christinas who met with him said he was…I will leave that matter to God who knows the hearts of all..

  • Hmmm…

    The Christian rights in the Republican platform are the strongest they have ever been. Trump had repealing the Johnson Amendment placed in the platform this year. It has already been brought up in the House, I think it is. It is about freedom more than anything this year.

  • Gary

    Federal law prohibits hiring or firing based on religion. I don’t know whether the courts will care, but it seems obvious that the government has violated federal law.

    • Dan Nordholm

      You nailed it. Liberal judges don’t care. At. All.

  • john appleseed

    It seems that many (perhaps comment posters “Christian Cowboy” & “Hmmm”) are willing to compromise their Christian testimony & publicly rally support for an extremely evil man for the purpose of saving themselves from persecution.
    Jesus warned us many times that Christ-followers will suffer for his name. Paul said that anyone who wants to live godly will suffer persecution.
    These are promises!
    You won’t find them in any version of the ever-popular Bible promise books (written for Christians who only want to focus on the goodies).
    Jesus said, “I send you out as lambs among wolves.”
    For those who constantly need reassurance, that doesn’t sound very comforting, does it?
    God didn’t give us our Christian armor (Ephesians 6:10-17) to fight for our rights.

  • Aliquantillus

    I have heard more of these stories. In all cases the religious ministers involved complied to the demand of turning over their sermons. Very, very stupid, because this means that they themselves by their own act recognized the legitimacy of government control over the content of the sermons, or at least the right of governmental oversight. If you want to have leg to stand on in these matters you have to refuse at the first occasion and stick to your rights no matter what. The secular state is the enemy of religion. It is the domestic occupying force, nothing else.

  • john appleseed

    After I edited my comment, a message popped up, saying, “Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by The Stream.” What’s up with that? If they don’t like us editing, why do they have that feature?

    • Dean Bruckner

      Certain words and even typos that look like web links trigger the wormhole to moderation purgatory. The filter is less stringent now than it used to be.

      • john appleseed

        There was nothing resembling any bad word or any link in the comment, which is still not here, BTW.
        I’m getting weary of this site. Too much cheering for the evildoer Trump. And now the comment section is not working.

        • Dean Bruckner

          I guess you would be more comfortable over at World Magazine (paywalled for a reasonable annual subscription) or at RedState or National Review. You can take my place at World Mag; I’m not renewing this year partly because of their opposition to Trump, but more so because of their drift away from a viewpoint that is reliability both conservative and Christian.

          Their various commentators apparently don’t get it that the Republican base loathes the establishment Washington DC (90% of its government employees, apparently) and all its vile works, and are trying to save the United States from sinking like the Titanic by waging war against the establishment. World apparently thinks it’s not time to fight. I respect their desire to be conscientious objectors, and I will be there with bandages and prayers when they are shot (only metaphorically, I hope) by the Marxists, but I don’t have to keep reading about it from them any more.

  • SophieA

    Sadly I haven’t recognized my country for years. Under the current administration good became evil and evil, good. Mr Brown, I thank you for continuing to sound alarm bells. May your warnings be heeded before it is too late.

  • Philmonomer

    As Walsh’s lead attorney Jeremy Dys said, “He was fired for something he said in a sermon. If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything.”

    Why, if the government can fire someone (who works for the government) based on what he said in a sermon, does that mean “they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything?” Huh? Say, I work for a small HVAC company. I make a facebook post that preaches against homosexual practice based on scripture. How could the government come after me? What could the government do? This makes no sense.

    • Dan Nordholm

      They could pull your license. They could ban you from working on government building projects. They could prevent contractors who do government work from using any sub contractors like you who hold anti-gay views lest they themselves lose government contracts:

      “Have you or your company ever done business with someone who is an anti-gay bigot?”

      Make more sense now?

      • Philmonomer

        Well, there you go.

  • Kevin Quillen

    churches, time to stand up and be counted. Give up tax exemption, do not be tied in any way to government. Speak truth to power, never give in or give up resisting an unjust law.

    • faithntrust

      Give up tax exemption? Do not be tied in any way to government? I am naive in this area but just how much would the Federal Government receive in taxes from churches, ministries, nonprofits, etc.? And, wouldn’t they be even more ‘in your business’ making sure they received every penny in taxes that were due? Just asking.

  • Daniel

    I was warned on multiple occasions on a previous job to stop talking about my faith…during my lunch hour…while I wasn’t even on company property. They eventually fired me, but not before they put a letter in my personnel file warning me of the consequences of being a Christian.

    • Gary

      If they fired you for talking about religion on your lunch hour, they broke federal law. Have you talked with an attorney about a lawsuit?

  • Nels

    If you are not quietly giving preference to Christians when you hire, you are helping the enemy.

  • JON CHO

    I would consider to respond on below conditions,
    1. Produce applicable laws on the book in referencing to volume, section, paragraph, and clause to grant such authority able to issue summon (duly signed by which judge?) that compels pastor to turn over sermons.
    2. Only if State issues equally same summon to each representative religious leaders from Catholics, Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, and Rabbi.
    3. Only if State schedules a time and place, for mutual convenience, to jointly review the sermons while ‘my’ sermons still in my physical possession.

  • Mo86

    No surprise at all. These bullies will not stop until they have destroyed every last one of us.

    Stand strong! Do not submit!

  • WeTheSheepleoftheUSA

    The church needs to act, but America is being ‘destroyed for lack of knowledge’. We aren’t being destroyed by modern interpretations of the Constitution, but on correct interpretations of an amendment which was added through coercion and force by a rogue federal government many years ago. Take a look. Every one of the following cases has, at its root, the enforcing power of the very SAME Constitutional amendment:

    Roe v. Wade (1973)
    Anti-abortion laws unconstitutional.
    14th Amendment, Due Process Clause

    Stone v. Graham (1980)
    Display of the Ten Commandments unconstitutional.
    14th Amendment, Application of federal law to the states

    Abington School Dist. v. Schempp (1963)
    School prayer struck down as unconstitutional.
    14th Amendment, Application of federal law to the states

    Bostic v. Schaefer, No. 14-1167 U.S. Court of Appeals (2013)
    Same-sex marriage laws struck down
    14th Amendment, Due Process & Equal Protection

    Hewett v City of King (2012)
    Religious symbols removed from town veterans’ memorial.
    14th Amendment, Application of federal law to the states

    This last case took place in my home town. A local veteran sued our small town for the display of a Christian flag and a kneeling soldier statue. The town fought back, but these items were eventually removed because this Amendment remains supported by the American people.

    PLEASE read my book and take a listen to my July 4th speech to receive an education about the history of this amendment, how it affects us today, and what we can do about it.

    THE BOOK (free read):
    “Removed: A short study on the decisions behind the Hewett v. City of King lawsuit”
    Google: America’s Remedy Hewett v King

    THE SPEECH:
    “Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge”
    Google: “Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge, Cliff Muncy”

    Additional Resources:
    America’s Remedy (dot c o m)
    YouTube: Counter-Revolution: An Alternative Political Choice
    YouTube Channel: americasremedy1

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