Tag Archives: government
For some time people like myself has been warning that the government was becoming increasingly intrusive on the religious freedoms of churches. Stories from the last few years alone are enough to make any sane persons head spin. From zoning law restrictions to taxes, the government has been seeking to get more than a foot in the door of America’s churches.
I have warned on more than one occasion that before long the government would try to silence America’s pastors – either through regulation, IRS intimidation, or both. It seemed a no brainer to me that the end game was to pretend to value freedom of religion while seeking to monitor and regulate exactly what speech is used.
It seems that day has come far sooner than anyone expected.
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas to a group of pastors for their sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity, or any mention of Mayor Annise Parker; who happens to be a lesbian.
Christians have a responsibility to be obedient to civil government. Verses such as Mark 12:17 and Romans chapter 13 make it clear that Christians have a duty to be obedient to civil government because God has ordained government “for your good.”
Knowing that Christians have a responsibility to civil government makes it hard for some to understand why we resist and fight some laws. If, they suppose, Christians are to obey government, why fight the HHS mandate or the redefinition of marriage?
For those leading the charge in these particular areas of culture change it makes no sense for Christians to expend all their energy fighting the government when they should, as the Bible teaches, submit to and obey the government. Rather than risk the loss of livelihood or be fined for resisting and opposing laws mandated by the government, Christians ought to submit and obey.
While that is, technically true, it is not entirely true and stands outside the context of Christian responsibility.
What is the logical end of the new sexual revolution that seeks to erase inherent differences between the genders and make sex a matter of cognitive choice rather than biology?
Nope, I’m not overstating it even a little bit. If anything that might be an understatement. But just in case you still aren’t convinced by my fool-proof logic and obviously sound reasoning, let’s look at a couple of recent accounts to see if my hypothesis holds up to scrutiny.
Bryan John Ellicott was born a woman, but now identifies as a man. According to a recent article the 24-year-old went to a Staten Island public pool where “he” changed into swim trunks and a t-shirt. A little while later when “he” returned to change shirts an employee of the pool told the transgender man that he had to either use the women’s locker room or leave.
By now any aware individual that pays the least bit of attention to the news knows about the cases of the photographer in New Mexico, florist in Washington, and baker in Colorado.
If you’ve not heard of these ground-breaking cases it’s time to get your head out from under the rock and start paying attention.
Why are these cases so important? Simply put, they are testing the waters for the trampling of religious freedom in a way not before experienced in the United States. In each of these cases the religious freedom and free speech rights of private business owners were discarded in favor of homosexual rights. Courts in each of these cases told business owners that they can and will be prosecuted if they did not violate their religious convictions.
But if you think these are isolated cases or that they are exceptional you couldn’t be more wrong.
A recent article highlights the case of Liberty Ridge Farms where, Christian owners were not only fined for refusing to host a same-sex ceremony but were ordered to retrain their staff. The article states:
Laugh all you want. Call me an alarmist or a conspiracy theorist, but what is happening right now in America is nothing short of the redefinition of the Constitution. The new definition includes re-education that would make any socialist or communist proud.
I can only describe the case of Jack Phillips, a baker in Colorado, as jaw-dropping and shocking. Every time I read another account of what is happening to him I shake my head and wonder what America is going to look like in 10 years.
In case you aren’t familiar with Jack’s story, here’s a quick brief. Jack Phillips owns a bakery in Colorado. He has been doing business for 20 years and is highly respected for his artwork in deliciousness. A homosexual couple came in to his shop in 2012 and wanted a cake to celebrate their same-sex union. Jack told them he would be glad to do just about anything else, but that he could not lend his talent and services to celebrate their ceremony. They sued.
A local judge and then the Colorado Civil Rights Commission found Jack guilty of sexual orientation discrimination. But as Jack has said, he isn’t discriminating against anyone:
Do you think only women get pregnant?
Believe marriage is the union of a man and woman?
Hold the position that there are inherent differences between men and women?
You old-fashioned, homophobic, bigoted, discriminatory, sexist person. How dare you believe such things.
How dare you believe that only women can get pregnant. Never-mind the biology, it is absolutely sexist and gender-biased of you to think that only women can get pregnant.
And to think that marriage is the union of only a man and woman. I can’t believe any sane, rational, fair-minded person in this day and age would believe such nonsense.
And don’t get me started on gender distinctions. Anyone believing that the genders are inherently different is a product of their discriminatory environment, not an enlightened culture.
When Dr. Ben Burris saw a need in his community to help those who cannot afford dental care, he decided to offer greatly reduced cleanings and another doctor, Dr. Elizabeth Gohl, offered free extractions for the less fortunate. Having two highly trained professionals offering their services is what we need to encourage, but some do not like it. Who would be opposed to these great acts of compassion? The answer, the government!
Burris and Gohl are not the only ones being targeted. Dentists and doctors in West Virginia, Idaho, Nevada, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oklahoma, are running afoul of regulations established by federal and state governments that are limiting these physicians’ charity work.
That is right, charity is a target of regulations. These doctors have the possibility of losing their license if they continue to operate in their profession by offering free services.
The only people who are hurt by these charity services are other businesses who are losing money–money from people who can’t afford it. Other than that, the Doctor is giving his/her personal time, money, staff, and supplies for no other reason than wanting to help others.
Did you see the massive media firestorm over the comments made by both Jonah Hill and Justin Bieber?
It’s crazy, there has been nothing on my newsfeed, my Facebook and Twitter but stories about how angry people are over the comments made by these celebrities. Hill made a homophobic comment and Bieber made racist remarks not once, but twice on video. The result has been chaos as media across the country discusses the comments and the anger people are expressing as a result.
The word I want you to see is creative. At the heart of this case is the right of every American to exercise – or refuse to exercise – his or her first amendment free speech rights. At the core of this case is the fact that the government is seeking to force an American citizen to violate his both his free speech and religious freedom rights. The government is telling Jack Phillips that he must use his creative abilities to create a cake a piece of art – a form of speech – that celebrates same-sex “marriage” and violates his religious convictions.
The reason this is critical and intricately linked to the article about the graphic designer is that if a cake maker can be forced to violate his religious convictions and use his creative talents to celebrate sin. And if a photographer can be forced to violate her religious convictions and use her creative talents to celebrate sin. How long before the government tells graphic designers that they must violate their religious convictions and use their creative talents to celebrate sin?