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Whenever Any Form of Government Becomes Destructive To These Ends,
It Is The Right of the People to Alter Or To Abolish It,
And To Institute New Government

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Thursday, July 07, 2016

The American Church Needs to Get Serious about Religious Liberty, Now


From David French:
If Evangelicals don’t act now, they will lose their freedoms. America’s Evangelicals are passive, timid, and afraid to defend their own liberties. Doubt me? 
Let’s consider a counterfactual. Imagine for a moment that a racist state legislature passed a bill designed to financially cripple historically black colleges. Claiming the need to protect the public from “racial discrimination,” state senators proposed a bill that could deny any and all state funds (including student financial aid) to any university that deviated excessively from the demographic makeup of the state. 
Compounding the crisis, the racist legislature believed a racist judiciary would uphold the law, giving black colleges a choice — get whiter or close their doors. Does any rational person believe that the black community or the Left more broadly would simply acquiesce? 
That they’d delegate the fight to outside law firms and a few sympathetic politicians, or that they’d wring their hands over the decline of the culture rather than taking direct action? No, they would shut down the state capital with protests. They would stage sit-ins. They would bus in protesters from elsewhere in the state and around the country. They would picket legislators’ homes. They would picket the governor’s mansion. And they would not stop until they won. 
I thought of this as I read the scant news coverage of California’s intentionally anti-Christian 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. 
The traditional response to odious bills such as this is to call or write your legislator, and, if that fails, file a lawsuit. In the meantime, while the lawsuit proceeds, only a minority of church-going Evangelicals will be aware of the controversy, and a small minority of that minority will fervently believe that Christians had it coming, because the church is just as bigoted and nasty as its worst critics say it is. 
Given the inherent weaknesses of this model, it’s a miracle that it’s worked at all. But thanks to the First Amendment, a bipartisan judicial consensus that outright viewpoint discrimination was unlawful, and extraordinarily diligent legal efforts from a relatively small cohort of dedicated lawyers, a fractious and squabbling church has generally sailed through the culture war with its fundamental freedoms intact. It has lost on the margins, but its core liberties have survived. It can no longer take this reality for granted. 
The sexual revolution marches on, and the courts have broadcast their intentions. When First Amendment freedoms conflict with “sexual liberty,” sex now tends to win. And when it loses, the margin is razor-thin. 
This is exactly the time when the Evangelical church needs to lay down a marker, to signal that it will not go quietly. But to do that it needs to do something that it rarely does: ask its members to take a stand. Oh, the church is good at asking them to do things that the world likes, such as volunteering at homeless shelters or digging wells in poor villages overseas. It’s good at helping repair broken homes and broken lives. It’s decent at transmitting the truths of the faith to the next generation. It’s terrible, however, at defending its own essential liberties.
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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

8 Comments:

Blogger christian soldier said...

Thank you for confirming what I have been stating for over 29 years--my last 'discussion' w/ a church leader lead to my comment to him-"How many cheeks do we have to turn!"
Carol-CS

Thursday, July 07, 2016 2:35:00 pm  
Blogger christian soldier said...

two on top -- two behind--
C-CS

Thursday, July 07, 2016 2:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first thing to do is shed your 501(c) 3 tax status. By applying for tax exemption you immediately cease to be an independent church and become a mere charitable organization subject to government oversight.

The second thing is get out of the business of running a business. Do your ministers have a 401K? Is your church preoccupied with "programs" that always need another collection? Are you hiring yourself and your PP&E out for weddings and funerals for people who never otherwise darken your door? Then, quite frankly, you are not a Church.

Thursday, July 07, 2016 3:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IOW: The American Churches needs to get serious about RELIGION!

Thursday, July 07, 2016 3:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT...3 min video: CENSORED: YouTube Uses Anti-ISIS Policy to Pull CounterJihad Video. Watch it here. A "hate speech" policy developed to counter the Islamic State's murderous propaganda is now being used to silence critics of radical Islamic terror.

****** the video is excellent

Thursday, July 07, 2016 4:01:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Thanks for the video.

I asked Midnight Rider to upload it.

Thursday, July 07, 2016 4:14:00 pm  
Blogger Pete Rowe said...

Losing 501c3 status would be a good thing for the committed body of believers and would tend to focus the institutional church. The real weakness in the American church is that most of its male membership is passive, withdrawn, and weak. Most males who attend church in America are not committed to Jesus Christ, His Gospel, and His commands; but intead would rather be golfing or watching sports when their wives drag them.to.church. The males who would rise up to protect the church and their families cannot be bothered to get agitated over anything beyond the latest NFL or NBA personnel move.

Thursday, July 07, 2016 4:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete Rowe you said it! Most of these folks really don't have any religious beliefs. They just go to church. Ask them what they believe, what are their bedrock principles? They won't have a clue. They'll squirm and recite some PC garbage like they think you want to hear so they don't get in trouble. "We just wanna LOVE everybody" or some such.

Show up in some random church on a Sunday where you don't know anybody and ask them if their minister preaches the Gospel. They won't know how to answer for fear of offending you. Seriously, try it.

Thursday, July 07, 2016 8:26:00 pm  

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