By Dr. Peter Jones –
In 2018 well-meaning fellow Christians on the boards of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), adopted an initiative called Fairness for All. Among notable signers were Philip Graham Ryken, President of Wheaton College and Derek Halvorson, President of Covenant College. The initiative seeks some kind of common ground with LGBTQ people. These thoughtful Christian men clearly believe that in a pluralistic world this “Fairness” doctrine can identify a middle ground between those advocating LGBTQ rights and those defending religious liberty. The goal is to grant cultural and legal freedom from discrimination to the gay agenda, while granting exemption from pro-gay laws for churches and religious institutions.
The rationale behind the FFA agreement is that in our current pluralistic society, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a good rule for religious liberty advocates and for gay rights supporters alike. However, as Robert Gagnon rightly notes, “Jesus didn’t formulate the Golden Rule to provide special legal protections for and promotion of, immoral behavior.” Giving LGBT ideology and action a free and protected hand will only further the paganization of the state (which is not good for anyone) and deny the church any right to speak publicly and legally about God and the creation.
Those of you who stay abreast of the news doubtless sense that Christians are facing profound challenges to the public expression of their faith in once “Christian America.” Those challenges come not only from a growing anti-Christian culture but even from fellow Christians.
In terms of fairness, Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, believes FFA is not about freedom, which gays already actually have, but about “coercion”—of Christians. This arrangement “would penalize many Americans not in these protected Christian institutions who [still] believe that we are created male and female…. [It] will impose a nationwide transgender bathroom policy, a nationwide pronoun policy, and a nationwide sex-reassignment health care policy, and the free speech and religious liberty and the rights of countless professionals who find themselves outside the select group of institutions who are exempted will be denied.”
Just how morally perverse this present sexually-liberated culture will become, the FFA agreement does not address, but the signs are evident. Defenders of established institutions and traditions are labeled by progressives (those on the “right side of history”) as “bigots, racists, homophobes and worse. Under the tyranny of political correctness, freedom of speech is virtually impossible, religious freedom is threatened, and everyday conversations can be risky and sometimes even lethal.”
Some believe that this “progressive” culture is already showing signs of systematic anti-Christian bias. In “conservative” Texas, of all places, a showdown between religious freedom and transgender privileges is underway. Four pro-LGBTQ Texas bills – numbered HB 224, HB 254, HB 850 and SB 151 – would force Christian business owners to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism as they do business in the public square, or go out of business! Many conservative pastors in Texas are fearful that the proposed laws, which would add gender identity and sexual orientation to Texas discrimination laws, will diminish their right to express their faith. Dave Welch, president of the Texas Pastors Council, speaks of “the mad dash by some Democrat House and Senate members to push false narratives that sexual behavior is the same as skin color and that mental illness [transgender dysphoria] deserves the same honored status as religious belief, is ominous evidence that the criminalization of religious faith and common sense are on the horizon,”Some believe that they are seeing an attempt “to ban Christianity in Texas.”
In the name of fairness, leaving the secular culture in the hands of such anti-Christian progressives takes many forms.
Someone has said that the slippery slope of abortion “just fell off a cliff.” In New York and Virginia pro-abortion forces, with no sense of moral embarrassment, are pride fully flexing their muscles to expand abortion rights to the end of pregnancy and beyond. They now brazenly defend the murder of unwanted babies after they have been delivered in the “fourth term” of pregnancy! As a culture that’s a bridge we surely don’t ever want to cross. Progressivism has become so depraved, so out of touch with conscience, that even the murder of already born infants — what should be the final straw — is of little consequence. In Nazi Germany, ordinary citizens were brain-washed into thinking as of no consequence that Jews, including a number of Nobel prize winners [!], were less than human. This rationalization led to the slaughter 6 million fellow citizens of Jewish ancestry, within in the space of about three years (1942–45), in a sort of industrial genocide. As Senator Ben Sasse courageously said to his fellow politicians: “We’re talking about killing a baby that’s been born. We’re not talking about some euphemism, we’re not talking about a clump of cells. We’re talking about a little baby girl who’s been born and is on a table in a hospital or a medical facility and then a decision or a debate would be had about whether or not you could kill that little baby…there may be lots of work you [senators] can do in the world but you shouldn’t be here. You should get the heck out of any calling in public life where you pretend to care about the most vulnerable among us.”
In the name of “moral” sexual freedom, evil is becoming normal. We see this also in the intentional takeover of the minds of our next generation of citizens, namely, our kids. Jennie Bryant, a well-informed observer, described the state-wide sex education curriculum enforced by the San Diego School District. These sexually-perverse educational directives are reigning in our schools, and not only in San Diego! Bryant noted:
- The SD School Board District’s admission that the program uses porn to teach kids about sex and defended its use;
- Key groups working on implementing this Curriculum are the pro-homosexual Advocates for YOUTH, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, radical assemblywoman, Shirley Webber, all helped by George Soros money;
- The material is not medically, scientifically or biologically accurate;
- Abortion is taught as a form of birth control;
- Parental consent is not needed to obtain any services;
- Sex is taught as kid-friendly and viewed as more of a sport, something for self-pleasure.
Clearly much of this state “education” is undergirded by a major commitment to issues of sexual license and thus to the malevolent indoctrination of children’s minds, from which a culture can return only with immense difficulty.
The proof? After school, if our children go to the library, odds are they will be charmed by the national program “Drag Queen Story Hour,” where fully-grown men dressed in provocative sexual garb as women, read children’s books promoting all kinds of illicit sexual behavior. What twisted minds could invent this? However, the DQSH program is proudly national, and makes a pseudo-moral claim to “capture the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress-up is real.”
In Lansdale PA, officials and Library staff promote a foul-mouthed adult entertainer named “Annie Christ” (a discriminatory attack on Christianity) as a role model to small children. In Detroit MI, city officials, in defense of the library, called in police and would not let parents peacefully express their opposition. Now, LGBT activists are trying to portray the DQSH program as an event universally approved by the community, and that only “outsiders” [kill-joy Christians] are against it.
Behind this fad is surely the success of the drag queen, RuPaul’s “Drag Race” TV show, in its ninth season. A London drag queen, Jodie Harsh, unveils the goal of drag: “To me, drag will always be a very subversive art form. It tips the notion of gender roles on its head and represents everything the right-wing hate.” The real intention of the DQSH for children is not just opposition to “right wing” politics. It tips on its head the notion of God, the good Creator.
There is reason to believe that this godless culture intends to go global: The United Nations is negotiating a new hard-law treaty that will make Church teachings on sexuality criminal. UN member states are formulating laws that define opposition to the LGBTQ agenda of “sexual orientation and gender identity” as a “crime against humanity.” It would also use this terminology to define what they call “forced pregnancy” (a negative label for those opposing abortion).
Granted the power of technology, one cannot help but think of God’s evaluation of universal human plans: “This is only the beginning of what they will do and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible to them” (Gen 11:6). It will take no time at all for our present Western culture to outdo anything the gay culture of ancient Rome could propose.
So, we return to Fairness for All. Christians advocating LGBTQ rights in the name of fairness and trust, thereby granting full cultural freedom in the name of “fairness,” will ironically be among the architects of a revived Roman culture. This initiative is favored by Nate Collins (one of the leaders of Revoice) who argues for a fully-accepted gay culture. But the “gay culture,” which functions without a deep commitment to morals, cannot be trusted, and the extent of what progressives view as acceptable religious exemptions has already narrowed and will almost inevitably disappear.
As an example of broken promises—the House of Lords in the UK [the equivalent of the US Senate] is currently voting on whether to compel pastors and bishops in the state Church of England to perform gay marriage ceremonies. The “Amendment to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Bill” betrays promises made by politicians in 2013, who swore in “iron-clad” assurances that “the religious freedoms of vicars, priests, and imams would be protected, should the legislation go through.” When the same-sex marriage bill passed in parliament, it was promised that no faith leader would ever be forced to conduct same-sex marriages. Now we wait and see!
Something else we must wait for and see emerging is the passage of the Equality Act (H.R.2282, S.1006) which intends to redefine sex across all federal laws and add “gender identity” to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a prohibited category of discrimination in public spaces. Newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised to pass this act in the House of Representatives. This will be law established simply on “how people choose to identify themselves based on their feelings. … Unlike protected classes such as race and sex, ‘gender identity’ has no basis in material reality. There is no science to prove its existence. Yet a rapidly increasing number of states and municipalities have passed laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of one’s self-asserted, subjective, unprovable ‘gender identity.’” Where this will lead, no one can really know.
To establish “Fairness for All” is to give our culture over to an ideology of sodomy and to assure the end of lawful Christian cultural witness in the public square. Making sodomy normative will guarantee increasing levels of persecution of Christians, who, outside the bubbles of Christian institutions, will be obliged to obey the civic laws of cultural homosexual orthodoxy or suffer punishment.
A new presidential candidate proposes a program of “moral and spiritual awakening, a fundamental change on the patterns of our political dysfunction.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? Until you know the name of the candidate: Marianne Williamson. A best-selling New Age author, Williamson is Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual counselor and the only spiritual hope she offers is the “god within”—the same god that is inspiring drag queens, abortionists and sexual libertarians.
Instead of hiding out, Christians surely have the responsibility not only to be proponents of fair play but also to be public witnesses to the “non-religious” man (who is religiously pagan) concerning the natural law of God inscribed on his heart. The innate moral sense that God the Creator has placed in the human heart awakens their search for God the Redeemer. To discover that Redeemer, Christians must speak, write and preach the gospel.
This Christian task will be increasingly difficult if we are forced to stay behind closed doors and are deprived of work, influence, education and perhaps eventually documentation from the culture, as was the case for the sixteenth-century French Huguenot believers. We must speak out while we can, and change the laws if we are able. Eventually even our own blood may have to call out the truth. Christians must trust in the Lord to protect and strengthen his church through times of suffering and persecution. In the fundamental confrontation between “Caesar is Lord,” or “Christ is Lord,” there is no fairness, only the Lie and the Truth (Romans 1:25). Fortunately the Truth we proclaim includes the beauty of an ordered moral universe, deep respect for the other, and God’s gracious love for the sinner.
Robert Gagnon: https://americansfortruth.com/2018/12/17/prof-gagnon-responds-to-christian-groups-compromise-with-lgbtq-activists-on-sexual-orientation-laws/
See the sane reactions of a Christian student at Stanford, Nathalie Kiersznowski, “Leaving Religion at Home: Engaging Religious Thought and Action in American Society,” Stanford Politics Magazine (10 Dec, 2018). She heard a lecture at the University of Oxford, UK of Dr. Paul Fiddes, a professor of Systematic Theology who argued that it was unethical for individuals to bring their private religious beliefs into the public sphere. She cogently argues that it is impossible to separate religious beliefs from public action, and that secularism is itself a religious belief.
Ryan Anderson, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Laws Are Not Fairness for All,” Heritage Foundation (November 28, 2018).
Stephen Strang, “America at War—With Itself,”Townhall.com (2 Feb, 2019).
Michael Haverluck, “Texas transgender bills to ‘ban Christianity’ in Texas? GOPUSA(January 30, 2019).
“MassResistance protest causes huge upheaval in Detroit suburb,” MassResistance (28 Jan, 2019).
Austin Ruse, “How a UN Treaty Will Criminalize Church Teachings and How You Can Help Stop Them,” https://naufragesauvetage.home.blog/2019/02/01/austin-ruse-how-a-un-treaty-will-criminalize-church-teachings-and-how-you-can-help-stop-them/(31 Jan, 2019).
Nate Collins, All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions at the Intersection of Faith, Gender, and Sexuality, (Zondervan, 2017), 76.