May 12, 2009
As more states—like Iowa—approve same-sex “marriage,” conservatives are claiming that freedom of religion is in peril. Same-sex “marriage” supporters accuse them of engaging in hysterical gay-bating. Who’s telling the truth?
Let me share some stories with you from an excellent news broadcast produced by National Public Radio. Then you decide.
Two women decided to hold their civil union ceremony at a New Jersey pavilion owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. This Methodist group told the women they could not “marry” in any building used for religious purposes. The Rev. Scott Hoffman said a theological principle—that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman—was at stake.
The women filed a discrimination complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights. The Methodists said the First Amendment protected their right to practice their faith without being punished by the government. But punish the Methodists is exactly what New Jersey did. It revoked their tax exemption—a move that cost them $20,000.
Then there’s the case of the Christian physicians who refused to provide in vitro fertilization treatment to a woman in a lesbian relationship. The doctors referred her to their partners, who were willing to provide the treatment. But that wasn’t good enough. The woman sued. The California Supreme Court agreed with the woman, saying that the doctors’ religious beliefs didn’t give them the right to refuse the controversial treatment.
In Massachusetts, Catholic Charities was told they had to accept homosexual couples in their adoption service, or get out of the adoption business. They chose correctly—get out of the business.
In Mississippi, a mental health counselor was sued for refusing to provide therapy to a woman looking to improve her lesbian relationship. The counselor’s employers fired her—a move that was backed up by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In New York, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University refused to allow same-sex couples to live in married student housing, in keeping with the school’s orthodox Jewish teachings. But in 2001, the New York State Supreme Court forced them to do so anyway—even though New York has no same-sex “marriage” law.
In Albuquerque, a same-sex couple asked a Christian wedding photographer to film their commitment ceremony—and sued the photographer when she declined. An online adoption service was forced to stop doing business in California when a same-sex couple sued the service for refusing, on religious grounds, to assist them.
Convinced? Clearly, homosexual “marriage” and religious liberty cannot co-exist—because gay activists will not allow them to. As marriage expert Maggie Gallagher puts it, same-sex “marriage” advocates claim that religious faith “itself is a form of bigotry.”
Tune in tomorrow, for I want you to learn how you can help protect both our religious rights and marriage itself. I know this may sound alarmist, but it’s true. If we don’t work to stop this juggernaut, we may soon find ourselves hunted down at work, at school, and even at church—as others have been—by those determined to force us to accept as a moral good what God calls evil.
Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.