Posts Tagged ‘religious liberty’

Non-Discrimination or Anti-Christian Bigotry? Why SOGI’s are a BAD Idea

July 14th, 2015 1 comment


In my last blog I said that every freedom-loving Hoosier must ask this one BIG question before the next legislative session:

“Will you protect my God-given religious liberties by opposing all efforts to create special protected class status for sexual orientation and gender identity?”

So why are sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) nondiscrimination ordinances bad public policy and dangerous threats to religious liberty?

Proponents of these types of bills wrongly claim that they are necessary to prevent discrimination. The problem is, we have zero evidence of widespread discrimination. While hypothetical examples or subjective feelings of being “unsafe” are offered, there simply is no objective data pointing to widespread discrimination among those practicing homosexual behavior. Gays enjoy the same rights every other person has under the rule of law. Laws are drafted to correct a problem or to redress a grievance. The problem is we have no problem!

So why the alarm?

Because the passage of SOGI’s create serious problems for Christians seeking to live out their faith in the marketplace. SOGI’s are used by the gay community to punish those who won’t celebrate their homosexual lifestyle and to coerce those whose religious beliefs will not allow them to participate in a same sex “marriage.”

The most recent example of this type of anti-Christian bigotry involves Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Finding them guilty of sexual orientation discrimination for refusing to bake a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding, they were ordered to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the complaining lesbian couple.

To add insult to injury, they were also slapped with a gag order commanding them to “cease and desist” from “publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”

Is this the kind of ant-Christian bigotry we want in Indiana?

Should Christian businesses be forced to violate their consciences to make a living?

Should our government be able to coerce people into violating their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman?

If our Republican super-majority fails to lead, this is the perverse and tyrannical new world coming to Indiana.

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The BIG Question Every Freedom Loving Hoosier Must Ask

July 9th, 2015 2 comments

In April of this year, I had the privilege of standing with pastors from across our state to deliver an open letter of censure to the Republican leadership for failure to protect the religious liberty of Hoosiers. Our humble press conference turned into a large rally with several hundred concerned citizens in attendance. We were providing a voice for the thousands of Hoosiers who felt betrayed and angry over the cowardly collapse of our conservative super-majority.

At a press conference led by Senator David Long and Representative Brian Bosma, our leaders stood with an assortment of CEO’s and leaders of the LGBT movement to announce a “fix” in the original piece of legislation. As a host of legal experts have concurred, this new legislation transformed bill designed to secure our religious liberties into a gay rights bill, opening Christian business owners to false claims of “discrimination” for simply declining to participate in activities which violate their biblical beliefs about marriage.

It was clear from the press conference that the next “discussion” will involve the creation of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as a special protected class in Indiana. Leadership from the gay community told all who were listening that this will become a reality in Indiana.

While the opposition has been abundantly clear with their agenda, our Republican super-majority has been deathly silent. I have been waiting for our leaders to make a clear stand on this vital issue. So here’s the $100,000 dollar question every freedom-loving Hoosier is asking:

“Will you protect my God-given religious liberties by opposing all efforts to create special protected class status for sexual orientation and gender identity?”

Don’t be fooled by the political rhetoric. The question requires a one word response. Yes or no?

If you care about religious liberty, take the time to call your state representative and your state senator and pop the question.

Indiana Senate – 317-232-9400
Indiana House – 317-232-9600
Governor Mike Pence – 317-232-4567

Why the Left Loathes Religious Liberty

April 9th, 2015 1 comment

moral collapse (1)

The Rights of Conscience

Have you ever wondered why the Left has so little regard for religious liberty and the rights of conscience? How can a group so committed to “equality or all” and “an America free from discrimination” have no problem using fines and other means of coercion to force others to violate their most deeply held convictions?

Secularists have a nasty habit of taking words we commonly use in the context of a Christian worldview and then gutting them of all their original meaning. Words like freedom, liberty, justice and beauty are powerful and inspiring because they point us to something Transcendent. They direct our attention to the existence of a good, holy, wise, just, all-powerful and eternal God Who sets the objective standard for these transcendent values. When you remove God from everyday life like the secularists do, the words become meaningless. They lose their weight and substance.

Perhaps this is why the Left rabidly fights for the unbridled freedom of sexual expression, while caring little for protecting the “rights of conscience.” You see, our English word conscience comes from the Latin word conscientia. The prefix con means “with” or “together.” The verb scire means “to know.” So the word literally means “to know with or to know together.”

We must ask the question, “With whom we are “to know together?”

Herein lies the problem for secularists. The conscience was designed to agree with God concerning matters of right and wrong. God Himself, His character and standards, is our benchmark. Thus, the conscience is a God-given moral compass which helps us determine right from wrong. It has been called “a law we cannot not know.”

The conscience is that part of every person which, willingly or unwillingly, responds to the universal moral law of God. The Apostle Paul writes, “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
(Romans 2:14-15, NLT)

Our conscience bears witness to our actions. When we examine our actions what does our conscience say? It is trying to give you an accurate witness of how you measured up to God’s standards.

This is why the Apostle Paul said, “I always strive to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (Acts 24:16)

Perhaps this explains why there is so little zeal from the Left to defend the rights of conscience. When you have little use for God, then why would you care about the rights of conscience? In fact, without God, how does one even define “conscience rights?” What is a “conscience?”

America’s Uniqueness

America is an exceptional nation. Our Founding Fathers gave us a political society unlike any other in the history of the world. The Founders considered religious liberty to be our “first freedom.” It was the foundation stone upon which all other freedoms rest.


Because one’s religious faith was the foundation for morality. Morality was the foundation of virtue. Virtue was the foundation of liberty.

This explains why religious liberty has been protected by our civil law. James Madison, one of the chief architects of our American understanding of religious liberty, puts the point well:

“The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.”
-Memorial and Remonstrance

Madison argued that it is an “arrogant pretension” to believe that “the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth.”

But here’s where the rub comes in.

Madison, like the rest of our Founders, acknowledged the existence of God and the duty of every man to worship Him. He wrote:

“What is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”

Did you hear that last phrase? The duty toward God takes precedence to the claims of government. Madison went on to say:

“Government exists primarily to protect our natural, God-given rights: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. . . [and] conscience is the most sacred of all property.””

Government exists for the purpose of protecting property and the most precious of all property is the human conscience! How far we have fallen from the biblically immersed worldview of our Founding Fathers.

The Bible predicted the day would come when people would be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:4) We are living in such a time. If we fail to demonstrate the superior pleasure of knowing and loving Christ (Psalm 16:11) our most cherished liberties will vanish before our eyes.