The Coming Persecution of Christians
Judicial Tyranny in California Boy Scout Decision
The Justices of the California Supreme Court announced that California Judges can no longer hold membership in the Boy Scouts of America and serve on the Bench. The reason given? The Boy Scouts of America does not allow openly self-professing and practicing homosexual men to be Scout Leaders.
California has carved out an exception from its social engineering edicts for “non-profit youth groups.” Yet, the state seems intent on ensuring that every citizen acknowledge a legal equivalency between those who engage in same-sex sexual acts as such and members of properly protected “suspect classes” under the law, such as race, creed, gender and national origin.
Homosexual and lesbian sexual activity is given legally protected status under the implementation of civil rights laws in California. Anyone who fails to see same-sex activity as the moral equivalent of race, creed or national origin will now endure legal discrimination and soon will be excluded from commerce and other “non-religious” associations.
The Persecution of Christians
It’s not a stretch to connect this Court action with religious persecution. I am a constitutional lawyer and I can read the tea leaves. All the “religious exemptions” in the world, be they state or federal, are not going to hold back the cultural engineers of this age. They have a new order in mind. It looks like some old orders — orders which also did not like Christians.
Unfortunately, even many Christians now think that questions of marriage and sexual activity are mere private “religious” opinions that should have nothing to do with the wider social order. This is a disastrous mistake.
As classical Christians, our claim is not ONLY that our religious faith, the Bible, the Christian Tradition and our informed consciences reveal the truth about marriage, but that the Natural Moral Law does so as well. It is not just a sectarian religious idea. The truth about marriage is recognized cross-culturally and inter-religiously, and for good reason. The Natural Law can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. It should inform the positive or civil law of every nation.
On June 29, 2006, the late Catholic Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo was interviewed by the Italian news weekly Famiglia Christiana. His words are a prophetic warning. Given social, legal and cultural trends in the West, all faithful Christians, no matter what their confession or Church communion, are in peril of persecution by the state:
I fear that faced with current legislation, speaking in defense of life, of the rights of the family, is becoming in some societies a crime against the state, a form of disobedience of the government, a discrimination against women. . . . The Church risks being brought in front of some international court, if the debate gets any more tense, if the most radical opinions are heeded.
The Cardinal condemned efforts to give cohabiting homosexual and heterosexual paramours the same legal status as those who are truly married:
We are changing the definitions about life: male and female, father and mother are disappearing. Everyone becomes a ‘partner.’ Civil unions are a legal fiction, two people who promise each other nothing, who promise nothing to their children nor to the state but want the same rights as marriage.
He referred to homosexual “marriage” as “absolute nothingness.” After the interview, he was pilloried by many in the media. The drumbeats of persecution could be heard in the distance. Now, in California, those drumbeats can be heard clearly — and they are getting louder.
Christians are shedding their blood, are becoming martyrs for the faith in some parts of the world. In my tradition there is another phrase, white martyrdom, that doesn’t mean literal death, but refers to Christians being scorned, hounded out of the public square and compelled to bend the knee to Caesar. Take no solace in all of these “religious exemptions.” Faithful Christians are one step away from being forced out of public service, excluded from voluntary associations, prohibited from holding office and serving on the bench.
The good news is that if we will defend the truth to our fellow citizens with charity and clarity, our message concerning the dignity of every person, the truth about marriage and the family, authentic human freedom, and fundamental human rights — endowed not by a civil government but God — can pave the path to renewal.