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Sacrificing Religious Liberty Atop the Altar of Sexual Liberty

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LGBT issues place at risk our freedom to hold personal religious and moral convictions. This is evidenced by the arrest of David Parker for insisting that his kindergarten-aged child opt out of homosexual education in the public school. According to a 2008 World Net Daily article titled “Decision to Teach Kids to Be ‘Gay’ Allowed to Stand:”

A federal court decision approving mandatory public school instruction for children as young as kindergarten in how to be homosexual is being allowed to stand, … The U.S. Supreme Court without comment has refused to intervene in a case prompted by the actions of officials at Eastbrook Elementary school in Lexington, Mass., who not only were teaching homosexuality to young children, but specifically refused to allow Christian parents to opt their children out of the indoctrination. … The dispute grabbed headlines when Parker, on April 27, 2005, “was arrested and thrown in jail by school officials over his insistence on being notified regarding his son in kindergarten being taught about homosexual relationships by adults,” Mass Resistance reported. … “The [Supreme] court did not even bother to notify the Parkers or their attorneys,” said Mass Resistance, which said what now will be enforced in the judicial district will be the lower bench rulings that the state has not only the right but “even the obligation … to promote homosexual relationships to young children.”[1]

 

When parents no longer have the right to opt their kindergarten-aged children out of sex-education in the public school system because same-sex marriage is legal in their state of residence and because the courts deem it more important to support sexual diversity than to support parents’ religious and moral convictions, it can rightly be said that sexual liberties have triumphed over religious liberties. This is affirmed by Georgetown Law Professor Chai Feldblum who was appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Speaking about when religious liberty conflicts with sexual liberty, she said, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”[2] She also expressed this in more technical terms, saying, “Protecting one group’s identity liberty may, at times, require that we burden other’s belief liberties.”[3]

This sacrifice of religious liberty and freedom of speech atop the altar of sexual liberation has been born out in testimonies from around the world. Numerous examples could be provided such as the Catholic fire fighters in Glasgow, Scotland who were disciplined by the fire department for refusing to march in the gay pride parade after being ordered to do so by the city. Because the gay pride parade had a history of attacking the Roman Catholic Church, the fire fighters chose to hand out fire safety leaflets on a nearby street rather than join the march. For this, they were given written warnings, were told that the incident would be placed on their personal record file, and were required to attend diversity training.[4]

More recently, Fire Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department Kelvin Cochran was fired for providing three co-workers whom he believed to be Christian with a copy of a book that he had authored. The book included his belief that homosexuality is a sin. Despite the fact that an internal investigation found no evidence that Chief Cochran had mistreated homosexuals, it was determined that he could not be trusted to fairly manage the department because of his religious beliefs.[5]

Another example might be Dr. Yeruham Leavitt who taught a class on medical ethics at Ben Gurion University in Israel. He was fired for his response to a disagreement between two students during class over whether children raised by homosexual couples might be hindered in their development. Dr. Leavitt affirmed this possibility and expressed his opinion that sexual inclinations can be both restrained and chosen.[6]

Perhaps most shocking of all is the testimony of Kenneth Howell who had taught in the University of Illinois the classes “Introduction to Catholicism” and “Modern Catholic Thought.” He was fired for writing an e-mail that explained what the Catholic position is regarding homosexual practices.[7]

It seems that society has judged sexual liberties to be more important than religious liberties. As such, this controversy is far greater than a question of whether two people who love each other should be allowed to marry and to be intimate. Rather, this controversy strikes at the heart of our freedom to act upon our religious moral convictions. As such we as God’s people must engage in this cultural issue while we still can and resist this dangerous trend toward prioritizing sexual liberty above religious liberty.

Be sure to read Timothy Zebell’s book Laid Bare: Uncovering the Relationship Between Homosexuality & the Gospel.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Unruh, Bob. “Decision to Teach Kids to Be ‘Gay’ Allowed to Stand.” World Net Daily, October 8, 2008, 11:20 p.m. Accessed March 18, 2014. http://www.wnd.com/2008/10/77373.

2. Brown, Michael. A Queer Thing Happened to America, 502. Concord: EqualTime Books, 2011.

3. Brown, 502.

4. Brown, 538.

5. Leslie, Katie. “Reed’s Office Releases Internal Report into Fire Chief’s Management.” Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 9, 2015. Accessed January 10, 2015. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/reeds-office-releases-internal-report-into-fire-ch/njkQG.

6. Brown, Michael. A Queer Thing Happened to America, 530.

7. Brown, 531.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.