Yes to Freedom, No to SOGI Laws
A Declaration to Protect our Constitutional Rights
by ERIC METAXAS
Constitutional freedoms and bological reality are under attack. And we—you and I—must take a stand.
Back in 2009, my BreakPoint
colleague John Stonestreet was “in the room” so to speak as Chuck Colson
was developing the Manhattan Declaration to defend the sanctity of life,
marriage, and religious freedom. John once told me how he totally “got” why
Christians had to stand up for marriage at the time. But in 2009, he wasn’t
certain we needed a declaration to defend religious freedom—what was the
connection between marriage and religious freedom?
Well, as John will now tell
you, Chuck was right. Chuck foresaw a time when Christian beliefs about
marriage and sexuality would make us targets in the public square—and that
our right to live out those beliefs would come under fire.
But what no one, including
Chuck, could see back then was how quickly we’d find ourselves in a world
in which the observable biological realities that make us male or female
would be denounced and denied—in academia, in the culture, and even in the
law. That pure emotion (as Princeton’s Robert George has said) would replace
biological facts. That people would be forced by government to comply with
these kinds of personal beliefs and lifestyle choices.
And that’s exactly where we
are. The best example of this is so-called SOGI laws, that is, Sexual
Orientation and Gender Identity laws. As John mentioned on BreakPoint last
week, SOGI laws create new protected classes of people based on inclination
and behavior, not race, sex, or creed. These laws threaten not only
religious freedom, but freedom of speech and freedom of association—especially
for Christian institutions and individuals.
This is why John and I and
more than 80 Christian leaders have signed a document to “Preserve
Americans’ Constitutional Freedoms from Government Coercion.” And it’s why
I’m inviting every BreakPoint listener to sign the document as well:
Please, simply go to ColsonCenter.org/freedom.
As the document states, “creative
professionals, wedding chapels, non-profit organizations, ministries
serving the needy, adoption agencies, businesses… religious colleges, and
even churches have faced threats and legal action under such laws for
declining to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies; for maintaining
policies consistent with their guiding principles, and for seeking to
protect privacy by ensuring persons of the opposite sex do not share
showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and other intimate facilities.”
Now, as John mentioned last
week, some Christians are seeking a middle ground, to carve out exceptions
to SOGI laws for churches and religious organizations such as universities.
But this approach hangs the Christian baker, florist, or photographer out
to dry—not to mention Christian lawyers, doctors, counselors, and
professionals of all stripes.
As Christians we believe
there is no distinction between a secular and sacred vocation—that all work
done to the glory of God is sacred. How can we then carve out protections for
so-called “religious” organizations, yet leave out everyone else?
There’s another problem with
this approach: it assumes the good graces of the champions of sexual
identity rights—that they’ll embrace compromise now and in the future. And
that, my friends, is alas, wishful thinking. Already we’ve seen legislators
try to label churches as “places of public accommodation” (and therefore
not protected from SOGI laws) if they have pot-luck dinners; we’ve seen
them try to distinguish between Christians colleges that train people
specifically for ministry as opposed to those Christian colleges that train
people to be accountants or English teachers.
So friends, it is time to
take a stand. I’m asking you to help “Preserve Americans’ Constitutional
Freedoms from Government Coercion.” Please, come and sign the statement at ColsonCenter.org/freedom.
here to read and sign the statement on preserving Americans'
constitutional freedoms in the face of Sexual Orientation and Gender
Religious Freedom and SOGI Laws:
Don’t Demonize, Don’t Compromise
John Stonestreet | BreakPoint.org | December 14, 2016
Available at the online bookstore
The Global Public Square: Religious
Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity
Os Guinness | IVP Books | September 2013
Truth Overruled: The Future of
Marriage and Religious Freedom
Ryan T. Anderson | Regnery Publishing | August 2015
The Liberty Threat: The Attack on
Religious Freedom in America Today
James Tonkowich | Saint Benedict Press | July 2014
Every child comes from and needs BOTH a mother and a father. Same-sex "marriage" intentionally keeps either a mother or a father from the child. Government should protect the child through upholding traditional marriage.
There is “a time to be silent, and a time to speak”. (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Now is the time to speak, so please speak up and defend children, truth and freedom. Craig Manners
“What the world needs most is a voice that courageously speaks the truth, not when the world is right, but a voice that speaks the truth when the world is wrong.” Fulton Sheen