I wrote this article back in 2015, in my pre-blogging days. You be the judge. Has it gotten any better? This past week in California, the state attorney general filed 15 felony charges against two journalists who used undercover footage to expose barbaric practices occurring in the backrooms of Planned Parenthood clinics. The AG used an obscure state law prohibiting certain types of secret recordings. Curiously, in a similar case, when undercover video footage revealed animal abuse at several farms, state prosecutors went after the farms! So do the math: if you speak up against a chicken being mistreated, you’ll be praised as a courageous humanitarian. If speak up against a living, human fetus being destroyed and dismembered, you be prosecuted by the full power of the state. Either good and godly people speak up NOW or we will soon lose our power to speak up.
Last week I was privileged to attend a forum on religious liberty led by Kelly Shackelford, the president of the Liberty Institute, one of our nation’s largest non-profit law firms which devotes its work exclusively to defending cases impacting religious liberty in America.
It is more than troubling to witness the assault today not only on Christian values, but on the freedom to even express those values. Last year’s Hobby Lobby case about contraception is merely the tip of the iceberg of what is coming against the Church. Shackleford said there are presently 1,400 cases in the nation’s court systems that concern issues of religious liberty. They impact…
- the military. Navy chaplain Wes Modder, who has a long and distinguished 19-year career, is presently under disciplinary orders because he simply spoke out in defense of traditional biblical values regarding marriage.
- secular employment. Dr. Eric Walsh, a top national healthcare administrator, was fired from his state job because of a message he preached in his home church as a lay minister.
- public schools. A fifth-grade teacher ordered a boy to stop reading his Bible during a reading time and left a terse voicemail on the father’s phone and high school Bible clubs have been forcibly disbanded, even though these behaviors are specifically protected by Supreme Court decisions.
- higher education. Communities around Gordon College – north of Boston – are refusing to hire Gordon students as student teachers because of the college’s biblical stance on homosexuality as reflected in its community life statements.
- the church. Last year in Houston, when a group of pastors organized a protest against the city’s intent on allowing transgendered citizens to use any bathroom, the city issued a subpoena to the pastors demanding to see the transcript of their sermons.
When abortion was legalized in 1973, pro-life Christians peacefully and unashamedly continued their efforts to win people’s hearts and minds over in their defense of the unborn. The right to speak out against what was perceived as a societal harm was never denied, nor did corporations threaten to terminate employees who were found to be leaning toward one viewpoint or another.
Today, opponents of Christian values are using tactics of fear and intimidation to silence even the expression of disagreement, particularly in the arena of human sexuality. If you so much as breathe a word of dissent, we’re coming after you – not with arguments and reason – but with an assault of vitriol and threats. We’ll accuse you of “hate”, we’ll target your employer, we’ll fine you and order you into sensitivity training, we’ll tell our state workers they can’t travel to your state.
Thank goodness for groups like the Liberty Institute who are doing all they can to support basic freedoms that have been a part of our nation’s DNA since its founding. But they cannot keep up the fight alone. Just because certain court cases have swung a certain way doesn’t mean we give up sharing our views and beliefs of what it best for humanity. It is important for the vast silent majority of Americans to continue to speak their hearts and minds. The Wes Modders and Eric Walsh’s and Gordon Colleges of our country need us now. And if we do not speak up now – soon we will lose our very right to speak.