Throughout the Western world rights talk is being used to promote the agendas of activist minority groups, and to silence Christians from publically affirming their faith. This takes many forms: hate crimes legislation, equal opportunity laws, anti-discrimination legislation, and so on.
The militant homosexual lobby especially likes these laws, because under the guise of “fairness” and “human rights” they are seeing the rights of believers to uphold their conscience in the public arena taken away, while they manage to get special rights granted to themselves by governments.
Of course the militant activists know that the two main institutions standing in the way of their agendas are the church and the family. That is why both are under such ferocious assault recently. Examples of this abound. Here in Victoria for example the activist government is holding an inquiry into its Equal Opportunity Act, and is looking to remove religious exemptions to it.
The entire 173-page document is a worry, but the main concern involves sections 75 to 77 (pp. 106-131). These sections specifically have to do with religious exemptions. I offer a link to the document below. It is vital that all concerned Victorians look at the document and put in a submission on this.
A good way to see how dangerous such moves are is to look overseas where similar attacks on religious freedom have been occurring. Chuck Colson recently had a two-part commentary on how Christians are increasingly losing their freedoms as militant homosexuals use rights legislation to silence dissent and force conformity to their lifestyle. He offers the following stories:
“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’.”
And one last example: “eHarmony is a popular online dating service designed by Neil Clark Warren, an evangelical Christian psychologist. The site claims that, on average, 236 eHarmony members marry every day. That’s good news. The bad news is that, in 2005, a man claimed the company violated his rights by not offering a matchmaking service to homosexuals. He lodged a complaint with the New Jersey attorney general, who found probable cause that eHarmony had violated state anti-discrimination laws. eHarmony vigorously disagreed. Nevertheless, last year, eHarmony agreed to develop a matchmaking service for same-sex couples—and pay $55,000 in fines.”
As Colson summarises, “We’ve seen this scenario over and over again. Christians or Orthodox Jews open up a business, ministry, or school, and sooner or later, a same-sex couple shows up demanding services that conflict with the sincerely held religious convictions of those they confront. When the same-sex couple is turned down, they promptly sue – even if others offer to accommodate them for the same services. And too often, they are winning their cases. It’s as if the First Amendment no longer exists. I can’t help but suspect that radical gays deliberately target outfits run by religious believers in order to force them to accommodate their political agenda – or go out of business.”
Exactly right. That is why it is absolutely vital that everyone reading these words puts in a submission – no matter how brief – urging the government to leave religious bodies alone, and keep these vital exemptions in place. If these proposed changes go ahead, Christians will find themselves spending a lot of money on fines, or spending a lot of time in prison.