As most of our readers know, my father-in-law Irvin Baxter, has hosted a nation-wide radio program called “Politics and Religion” since 1998. The program focuses mainly on the prophecies of the Bible. But, there is that rare occasion when Irvin will veer from prophecy and focus on a subject that is diametrically opposed to the Bible—homosexuality.
The End of Free Speech in America
By Dave Robbins
When he first talked about it on the air, a small voice in the back of his head warned him to avoid that subject because he might offend someone. Thankfully, those who listen to the show know that Irvin has never heeded that voice. We have seen many homosexuals delivered from that lifestyle as a result. He has no desire to bash or discriminate against homosexuals or transgenders. On the contrary, as a God-called preacher he is obligated to teach and preach the truth of the Bible concerning all sin, which he has always done.
Over the past few years, the freedom of an individual to express opposition to the homosexual agenda here in America has deteriorated dramatically. Speaking against homosexuality, or acts of opposition against it, is being criminalized through anti-discrimination, hate crime and public accommodation laws. Many would argue that a Christian’s freedom of speech and expression of opposition to the gay agenda is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
It is clear that our forefathers adopted the First Amendment to ensure that our religious beliefs would never be infringed upon. However, with the inclusion of the term “sexual orientation” in many new hate crime laws, freedom of speech is quickly coming to an end here in America.
Any true Christian would not discriminate against an individual’s race, creed, color, national origin, sex, or disability. However, neither can a Christian condone the sin of homosexuality, which is clearly condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. This is precisely what lawmakers are attempting to force Christians to do by adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classifications for discrimination.
Because the sin of homosexuality is a direct violation of the Bible, Christian individuals, churches and businesses are obligated to not condone or participate in these relationships. Opposing the sin of homosexuality may be done by a pastor preaching against it, churches not allowing gay couples to be married in their facilities and businesses denying service to any group that is promoting the homosexual lifestyle. Sadly, with the ever-increasing amount of states passing anti-discrimination, hate crime and public accommodation laws protecting sexual orientation, the right of churches, individuals and businesses to decline participation in these relationships is rapidly being stripped away.
How is this being allowed to happen?
Gay Rights Trump Freedom of Speech and Religion
While the First Amendment clearly states that Congress shall pass no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, the gay rights activists contend that when freedom of religion clashes with gay rights, then gay rights must supersede religious rights. In practice, this has come to mean that a person must violate his religious convictions if those convictions result in not granting homosexuals their perceived rights.
Let’s consider some actual cases where government is demanding that Americans violate their religious convictions in order to accommodate homosexuals.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa
Aaron and Melissa Klein are a Christian couple who own and operate “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” bakery in Gresham, Oregon. In January of 2013, potential customer Rachel Cryer met with the Kleins to discuss making a wedding cake for Rachel and her partner. However, when the Kleins learned that the wedding was between two females, they declined to make the cake due to their religious conviction.
As a result, Ms. Cryer filed an anti-discrimination suit with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). In question is whether the Kleins violated the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 which states, “…all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation…”
The Kleins are currently under a full investigation by BOLI, have closed the bakery and are operating out of their home. If the Kleins are found guilty of discrimination under the law, they could face fines and prosecution.
Arlene’s Flowers & Gifts
Barronelle Stutzman is a Christian florist who owns and operates “Arlene’s Flowers & Gifts.” In March of 2013, Stutzman refused to provide flowers for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed due to her religious beliefs against same-sex marriages.
As a consequence, Stutzman is facing two lawsuits. State Attorney Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers & Gifts, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a separate lawsuit on behalf of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, the gay couple who were denied service.
The state’s lawsuit seeks fines against the business, while the ACLU suit seeks damages on behalf of the plaintiffs, Ingersoll and Freed.
Jack Phillips is a Christian and one of the owners of “Masterpiece Cakeshop” in Lakewood, Colorado. In July of 2012, Jack, due to his religious convictions, refused to make a wedding cake celebrating the same-sex wedding of Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig taking place in Massachusetts later that year.
Initially, the ACLU filed a discrimination complaint against Mr. Phillips on behalf of Dave Mullins and Charles Craig. It was then filed as a formal complaint in June of 2013, by the Colorado Attorney General’s office. The complaint seeks to force Masterpiece Cakeshop to “cease and desist” the practice of refusing wedding cakes for gay couples, and to tell the public that their business is open to everyone.
If Phillips loses the case and refuses to comply with the order, he would face fines of $500 per case and up to a year in jail.
Ironically, Colorado has an amendment to its constitution stating that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Jonathan and Elane Huguenin are a Christian couple who believe that in the Bible, God defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Together they own and operate the family business, “Elane Photography”.
In 2006, Vanessa Willock contacted Elane Photography, asking Elane to photograph her lesbian commitment ceremony. Since New Mexico recognizes neither gay marriage nor civil unions, it was to be a private ceremony. However, Elane, due to her religious beliefs, only does traditional weddings and refused to photograph the ceremony.
According to Breitbart, Willock filed a complaint against Elane with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, citing a state law that does not allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The commission ruled Elane’s decision illegal, and imposed a fine of $6,637.94 to cover legal fees.
Elane took the matter to court, only to have the trial court as well as the court of appeals uphold the ruling. The New Mexico Supreme Court has now affirmed the lower courts holding that Elane Photography is a “public accommodation”, and because they photograph wedding ceremonies they cannot refuse a gay-commitment ceremony (even if it is not a legal wedding).
With this verdict in mind, Jordan Lorence, who worked with the Alliance Defending Freedom in defense of Elane Photography made this statement: “The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law’ to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom. Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom. We are considering our next steps, including asking the US Supreme Court to right this wrong.”
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
In March 2007, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association declined Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster’s request to rent its Boardwalk Pavilion for their same-sex civil union ceremony. The couple sued, claiming they had been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation.
In December 2008, the state Division on Civil Rights found the Christian campground had likely violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and joined the case. According to LifeSiteNews.com, a New Jersey judge ruled against the Christian retreat house for refusing to allow the same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals”.
The Administrative Judge Solomon A. Metzger ruled that religious liberty did not exempt the seaside retreat, which is associated with the United Methodist Church, from renting its facilities out for purposes that violate its moral beliefs.
In every above instance, the proprietors denied service based on their religious belief that same-sex marriage is wrong. If they would have simply accepted it as a part of society all would have been fine. So why didn’t they? Why buck the system and face the risk of fines, prosecution and possibly the loss of their family business?
The answer is really very simple. If you were asked to be an accomplice to murder, would you do it? If you were asked to participate in a scheme to embezzle millions from the company for which you work, would you do it? Of course not! It would be against your religious conviction. It would be against your God! Participating in a same-sex wedding is the same thing. The holy scriptures repeatedly call homosexuality an abomination to God.
It all boils down to this: Will we obey God or will we obey government? Our forefathers were faced with the very same choice. They chose to leave the tyrannies of Europe for the freedom of America. That’s why they placed the First Amendment in our Constitution…“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. No hate crime law, no public accommodations law. No law!
The Bible vs. Same-Sex Marriage
The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin according to Leviticus 20:13, Roman 1:21-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. However, there are two types of people in America—those that believe the Bible and those that don’t.
The Bible believers see marriage defined by God as between one man and one woman, way back in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This is why Christians cannot participate in a same-sex wedding.
Those who do not believe the Bible have no moral compass. As a result, they see Christians standing against homosexuality in our society as discrimination rather than a religious conviction. This has resulted in humanistic solutions to a spiritual battle.
President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law on September 21, 1996. It defined marriage here in the United States as between one man and one woman. On June 26, 2013, key parts of DOMA were struck down by the Supreme Court, declaring that gay couples married in states where it is legal must receive the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive. The Bible calls same-sex marriage an abomination. The Supreme Court calls it “a right”.
The ruling also means that same-sex marriage is now sanctioned in 13 states and the District of Columbia – a list representing more than a third of the population of the United States, according to the Washington Post.
Furthermore, for the first time in the history of this country, on May 9, 2012 the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama proclaimed his unequivocal approval of same-sex marriage when he stated, “…at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married”.
Now we know why same-sex marriage and gender identity has been added as a protected class in the anti-discrimination, hate crime and public accommodation laws here in America. These are top-down agenda-driven laws that will be used to force Bible-believing Christians to accept the homosexual lifestyle in our society. Sadly, the government has chosen to stop this so-called “discrimination” against homosexuality by abolishing our freedom of speech and freedom of religion!
What can Christians do?
In order to solve any problem of this magnitude, one must realize who is the mastermind behind the agenda. The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender agenda in America is nothing more than an attack by Satan on the very foundation of our society – the family. God defined marriage as between one man and one woman in Genesis 2. Since then, Satan has tried to redefine the role of men and women in society. Whether it is a homosexual, bi-sexual relationship or a transgender lifestyle, it really doesn’t matter to him.
However, the Bible provides Christians with two keys that will help us fight against the enemy’s assault on America – resistance and prayer.
James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Concerned Women for America’s Culture & Family Institute offers many ways you can resist the “gay” agenda and bring hope and healing to America’s ailing culture:
1. Share the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ with a homosexual. Thousands of men and women have left the homosexual lifestyle. Homosexuality is a changeable behavior – not a civil right!
2. Educate your family, co-workers, and friends about the homosexual agenda. Counter “gay” lies at your church or Bible study group. Talk to Christian co-workers about reaching out compassionately to fellow employees who are homosexual. Insist on real “diversity” and not just the pro “gay” viewpoint.
3. Confront media bias. Homosexual pressure groups target journalists – and journalists, in turn, rarely hear from average readers. Call your local journalists and respectfully critique their stories. Insist on balance regarding the homosexual issue.
4. Call your representatives. Tell local, state and federal lawmakers that the benefits of marriage must never be awarded to non-marital arrangements (homosexual or heterosexual). Tell them it’s wrong and unfair to spend your tax dollars to affirm homosexuality or treat it as a “civil right”.
5. Reach children and students with the truth. Our culture bombards children with pro “gay” messages, telling them that homosexual relationships are normal. Instill in children Biblical truths: God created healthy boundaries for human sexuality, sex outside of marriage is wrong, no one is born “gay”, and homosexuality is a sin that can be overcome like all other sins. Help them to stand for truth no matter what the “pop culture” says or the social cost involved.
6. Talk to your pastor. Educate your religious leaders on the radical nature of “gay” demands. Tell them how homosexual activists are classifying traditional religious beliefs as “hate” or “prejudice”. Explain how sacred texts are under attack. Urge them to preach against efforts to normalize homosexuality.
7. Speak out against “sexual orientation” laws. Homosexual pressure groups push for “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination laws, which treat homosexual behavior like a civil right. Creating this special treatment for homosexuality is the first domino of a full agenda that ends with legalizing so-called “gay marriage”. We must resist these initiatives and repeal them wherever possible. Speak out against “sexual orientation” bills at council hearings. Call radio and TV talk shows and write letters to the editor. By simply speaking out respectfully and kindly, but firmly, you will inspire others and create momentum to stall “gay” legislation and stand up for marriage.
8. Lobby corporations/do shareholder activism. Many companies offer “domestic partner” benefits and so-called “diversity training” for employees. Call or write offending companies and tell them you can (or will) take your business elsewhere if they continue to undermine marriage or fund “gay” activism. If you own stock in a company, attend the annual shareholder meeting and speak out against corporate policies that elevate non-marital relationships or fund homosexual activism.
9. Call or write the President. Urge the President to be a moral leader by standing up for marriage and family. Tell him not to do anything to advance the homosexual agenda. Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 or go online to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.
10. Support pro-family organizations that are fighting on your behalf. The money that family advocates spend to oppose the homosexual agenda is minuscule compared to the millions spent by “gay” lobby groups. So, please give generously to the defenders of marriage and family.
Finally and above all – Prayer! 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, ”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”.
There are no excuses for being silenced by the enemy. Let’s bind together and resist Satan’s attack on the United States. Americans, Christians, and pastors – don’t be silenced. Take a stand and be heard!