How does a federal judge striking down California’s voter-approved constitutional provision limiting marriage to one man and one woman affect your church? By essentially saying that if your church teaches what the Bible says about homosexual behavior, it is a group of irrational bigots.
At trial, the plaintiffs in the case strenuously argued that many of the Californians who supported Proposition 8′s preservation of marriage did so because churches like the Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists specifically teach homosexual behavior is harmful to those who practice it, and to society as a whole. The judge accepted that argument as evidence that Californians’ religious convictions make their desire to protect marriage irrational and the law that resulted from those convictions illegal.
If believing what the Word of God says about homosexual conduct is irrational, we’re just one step away from courts holding sermons articulating that belief are not protected speech at all. And if orthodox teaching on sexuality is irrational hate speech, what’s next? It’s likely to be biblical teachings such as creation, proper discipline of children, and Christ’s position as the only path to the Father.
Perry v. Schwarzenegger is alarming because a government official – federal Judge Walker - determined the religious beliefs of a majority of Americans are irrational and harmful. He said, “Religious beliefs that gay relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” This government hostility toward particular religious beliefs is just a precursor to government attempts to coerce people to change those beliefs. We’re already seeing that in our military, educational system, and places of work. We would be naive to think they won’t try to impose this new amoral orthodoxy on churches.
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