CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Discrimination against Religious Groups

Jun 18, 2011

Increasingly religious groups are becoming the focus of new discrimination and persecution at the hands of the radical social engineers. Homosexual activists are especially targeting religious groups, stripping away their rights. This is happening all over the Western world.

While many groups are disadvantaged when special rights for homosexuals are legalised, this is especially true for religious groups which may find themselves forced to renounce their own beliefs and practices to accommodate pro-homosexual legislation.

Homosexual activists falsely claim that no religious person or group will be adversely affected by pro-homosexual legalisation, not least of which the legalisation of same-sex marriage. But I have documented numerous such cases on this website.

They are becoming increasingly frequent and flagrant. More and more cases are being reported where religious liberties are under threat or are being denied because of homosexual activism. As but one general example, an article in National Public Radio focused on nine different areas where this has occurred.

In an article entitled, “When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash,” Barbara Bradley Hagerty looks at how homosexual activists have targeted housing, youth groups, wedding services, adoption services, medical services and parochial schools, among other religious bodies and services.

Let me focus on just one recent overseas example. Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C. have had to radically alter their policies because of the recent introduction of same-sex marriage there. As social commentator Charles Colson explains, “In connection with the new law, the D.C. Council insisted that, as a city contractor, Catholic Charities had to offer the same benefits to same-sex couples that it did to heterosexual ones. Catholic Charities had to choose between church teaching and ministering to the city’s neediest residents” as a result.

And here are several recent Australian examples. The Ten Network in Australia has dumped a long-running U.S. Christian television program when just one person (presumably a homosexual activist) complained that one episode aired at three in the morning was offensive. On the program it was simply said that ‘God does not approve of homosexuality’ yet that was enough for Ten to dump it altogether!

And a Christian campground in Victoria which refused to rent out its premises to homosexual activists was fined $5000 by VCAT. The judge said this: “”They are not entitled to impose their beliefs on others in a manner that denies them the enjoyment of their right to equality and freedom from discrimination in respect of a fundamental aspect of their being.”

How in the world is this discrimination against a fundamental aspect of their being? Not only is this pushing the pro-homosexual myth that homosexuals cannot change, but it is a complete furphy. There would be hundreds of campgrounds around Melbourne to choose from. Why did this homosexual group insist on just this one?

Whenever a new right is created, corresponding obligations come into play as well. If a state decrees that same-sex marriage is legal, then every individual and organisation dealing with marriage will be forced to ensure that these new rights are met and facilitated. Jews, Christians, Muslims and numerous other religious groups will all be forced to violate their own beliefs and teachings in this regard.

In a recent book an important chapter on all this was written by Roger Severino. Entitled “Or for poorer? How same-sex marriage threatens religious liberty,” it examines a number of past cases and potential future cases of how religious institutions suffer from the expansion of homosexual rights. He is worth quoting at length:

“The legal definition of marriage does not exist in isolation; changing it alters many areas of the law. For example, the definition of marriage plays an important role in the law of adoption, education, employee benefits, health care, employment discrimination, government contracts and subsidies, taxation, tort law, and trusts and estates. In turn, these legal regimes directly govern the ongoing daily operations of religious organizations of all stripes, including parishes, schools, temples, hospitals, orphanages, retreat centers, soup kitchens, and universities. Moreover, current law provides no room for non-uniform definitions of marriage within a state, it is all or nothing….

“Changes in marriage law impact religious institutions disproportionately because their role is so deeply intertwined with the public concept of marriage. . . . The specific consequences that will likely flow from legalizing same-sex marriage include both government compulsion of religious institutions to provide financial or other support for same-sex married couples and government withdrawal of public benefits from those institutions that oppose same-sex marriage. In other words, wherever religious institutions provide preferential treatment to husband-wife couples, state laws will likely require them to either extend identical benefits to same-sex married couples or withdraw the benefits altogether.”

Yet homosexual activists keep insisting that nothing will change, and religious people will face no ill effects, if same-sex marriage is legalised. This is blatantly false, and the activists know it. As U.S. Law Professor David Orgon Coolidge notes, “Of course the legalization of same-sex marriage will have dramatic effects; it is supposed to. The real debate is about whether these effects will be good.”

He looks at a number of such changes. Consider just the legal impact: “This includes federal benefits, but the main effects will be at the state level, in the areas of marriage-related benefits, anti-discrimination laws based on marital status, adoption and child custody laws, public and private school curricula, nonprofit contracts with State and local government, private groups using public facilities, and professional licensing standards for lawyers, doctors, social worker and teachers, among others.”

Obviously people with religious convictions who are concerned about same-sex marriage and the like will find themselves being discriminated against and penalised if they do not embrace and affirm this raft of legal and social changes. As already documented, this is already happening, and it will only get worse as more and more special rights are granted to homosexuals.

This anti-Christian bigotry and persecution will only get worse unless we wake up to what is happening and get involved in defending religious freedom. We must face the fact that the church is being aggressively targeted by radical homosexual activists, and we will soon lose it all if we don’t wake up to this and begin to speak out.

How all this pans out, in other words, is largely up to us.

www.breakpoint.org/commentaries/14688-gay-marriage-v-religious-freedom
www.samesame.com.au/news/local/5950/Ten-dumps-TV-Bible-basher.htm

[1045 words]

22 Responses to Discrimination against Religious Groups

  • To see where we may be headed, have a look at what Massachusetts residents have to tolerate:
    www.massresistance.org/index.html

    To see the true face of tolerance, circa 2005:
    www.massresistance.org/docs/events05/love_won_out/index.html

    What’s the big push for 2011? – transgender rights:
    www.massresistance.org/docs/govt11/tranny_bill/hearing_0608/overview.html

    www.massresistance.org/docs/govt11/tranny_bill/bill_analysis.html

    David Gee

  • Thanks David

    Yes it is quite terrifying stuff, and it is getting worse all the time. Unless we stand up and be counted, we will soon be discussing these matters from behind bars.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Please ensure that you, and I mean all of you, turn out on National Marriage Day, 16th August 2011, at the Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra, to leave Federal politicians in no doubt as to where we stand on marriage.
    The Greens, who will hold the balance of power in the Senate, need to be reminded that last year’s defeat of the same-sex ‘marriage’ bill by 45 votes to 5 was no accident.
    Dunstan Hartley

  • Thanks Dunstan

    Yes we all should plan to be there. See here for details: marriageday.family.org.au/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • There is one solution for this but I’m not confident there will be enough courageous clergy to step up to the mark. The bishops and/or leaders in the two major Churches, will need to speak out from the pulpit, speak out to the media and if the media boycott them, speak out in criticism of the reluctance of the media to provide them with a venue to express an opinion. This can be done in their diocesesan newspapers.The government should be targetted weekly. The leaders in the two main Churches should tell the politicians that they are prepared to go to jail in defiance of any anti-Christian law. The politicians won’t have the guts to jail them. Church members should be prepared to letter box drop any electorate, where a politician supports the radical view. In placing the onus on the two main Churches I am not diminishing the work that could be done by minor churches. I am concerned that they would be vulnerable to bullying, because of their size, by cowardly politicians. This would work. There’ll be some new bishops appointed to a few new dioceses within twelve months. Pray they’ll be wise choices.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Thanks Frank

    Yes if church leaders started speaking out loud and clear, that would go a long way toward turning things around.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I agree, we need to do something to stand up to these activists, they cry discrimination, however it looks very much as though we Christians are being discriminated against. Dunstan, how widely known is the turnout on National Marriage Day? I didn’t know of it before and wonder how many other people may not be aware of it. It would certainly make the politicians sit up and take notice with a big turnout.
    Fred Merlo

  • Thanks Fred

    Use this link and send it far and wide to everyone you know: marriageday.family.org.au/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I don’t feel that we should put all of the onus on to Church Leaders and Pastors to stand against same sex marriage – it should be all of us. I know that I write regularly to politicians (mostly in vain) and will continue to do so.

    Joan Davidson

  • Thanks Joan

    Yes we all of course need to do our bit. Everyone has a role to play in this. But more outspoken church leaders would also be of help.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,
    This is dreadful. Do you think that if I wrote a letter to the Archbisop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, that he would take notice of it? I intend to email your link to all the ministers in my local church and see what they do about it. If this is the scenario, then as Joan Davidson above says, we all need to get involved somehow.
    Steve Davis

  • Thanks Steve

    Yes the more action the better. Go for it, and well done.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I hope we are all praying for our church leaders that they speak out with courage in defense of God’s law, also that we write to express thanks and encouragement when they do so.
    Anna Cook

  • Thanks Anna

    Yes we need to encourage them to speak out and thank them when they do.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • There’s no nice way to say it – but I am afraid the devil has the tongue of the modern church and shamefully, the same can be said of many of its leaders. So much of our words are dressed to please pagan political standards and not a Holy God. The endowment of the early church was a “tongue of fire” (Acts 2:3), which has nothing to do with pentecostalism, but rather, the fire was symbolic of the propagation of a pure and prophetic Gospel boldness in proclamation (Acts 4:31).

    Paul prayed that “utterance” would be given him (Eph 6:19) that he might open his mouth and speak boldly “as I ought to speak.” There is nothing less than Gospel boldness of speech that will suffice 21st century wickedness, particularly that of same-sex abominable ‘marriage,’ which is such a prostitution in terms I wouldn’t even allow them the privilege of the thought.

    Homosexuality was the debased, degenerate depravity that resulted from one or both of two things: namely, 1) Atheism, or 2) Idolatry. Homosexual activists are either atheists who have seriously seared their consciences from the stabbings of God’s Law, or they are Idolaters with clerical collars worshiping a modern Baal, in a modern Sodom of the mind.

    That pro-active mob attitude seen in the men of Sodom concerning the holy angels was evidently including in the Holy Writ for more 21st century reasons than we or our forefathers realized. It is illustrative of exactly the same onslaughts of intimidation any of us who oppose the sins of Sodom will face today…or tomorrow if revival continues to tarry. There is an arrogant and vitriolic hatred for that which is holy – and modern Christians will follow Lot’s reverence for the holy, but not his foolish actions of offering up his dear children. And if we’re not going to give our children, we probably shouldn’t enlist them in public school education, which for a 21st century Christian would be tantamount to Lot’s offer to give his girls away.

    Intimidation is ahead, and the floodgates are opening – only the Almighty hand of God can stay the tides – but praise Him for His promise that in such circumstances the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard (Isaiah 59:19), and that will only occur through His Church, the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). And we must always recall that amidst godless militancy, our hymn books yet contain a glorious section dedicated to “the church militant,” and our message must not be political distinctives, psychology, or health, but our message will be love – in contrast to the homosexual’s re-definition of such, and love as qualified by 1 John 4:10, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, namely, the Cross of Jesus Christ as the only and exclusive redemption for depraved sinners.

    Our banners will be in the calibre of Salvationism; “Blood and Fire,” and only by such rugged dedication to the Gospel such would make us unashamed (Rom 1:16) will bring the power of God unto salvation for those in the devilry of sexual deviance. God gave Isaiah a live coal, Jeremiah mouth on fire, the Apostles a tongue of fire – can we, ought we expect anything less? It was the fire of judgment that devoured historic Sodom, and it will be the fire of the Gospel that will devour modern Sodom as a sin – but glory to God, in the same holy blaze – save the sinner and pluck the brand from the burning (Jude 23) “hating even the garment defiled by the flesh”.

    Forbes Morrison

  • The reason I mentioned in my e-mail that Church leaders, in particular should take the fight to the politicians is because pollies know that the clergy have a platform to speak to a large number of people. If the priests where I attend mass spoke out, just on the weekend alone they would do so at four masses. In their sermons (or homiles as they call them nowadays) they could address almost 1000 people on any one weekend. That is just in one parish. Also, in many parishes, mass is celebrated every day. Those of us who attend during the weekdays as well, would be the types even more motivated to fight these politicians. How many lay people would have the opportunity to speak to that number in any one suburb in any one week? Also, the clergy would be most affected as they are directly in the firing line, more so than lay people – they would be expected to conduct these sham services. I might add that there is no point in nominating one person as an example of someone who would not be expected to speak out – “he” is not everybody and I was not suggesting that the task should be left to clergy alone. It’s interesting to remember that one would-be aspirant for parliament in the last Queensland state election had big plans to introduce a Victorian style pro-abortion bill for Queensland, immediately after she was “re-elected”. Some of her would-be constituents had bigger plans. They letter boxed EVERY house in her electorate, spelling out to voters exactly what this entailed. The lesson would not have been lost on a number of nervous pollies. I don’t know what the woman does for a job now, but it’s not parliamentary politics.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • One of the biggest issues I see is how the gay lobby groups are taking away the very right to dissent from their agenda. I recently had an on-line forum exchange (in a very Australian forum) where I was called a “homophobe” because I posted that the gay lifestyle was, in my opinion, a poor choice. I replied by asking how I could express my disagreement without having to wear said label. In short, it (eventually) came out that there was no way.

    In that case, I am a homophobe and wear the badge without shame. The unfortunate thing is that I carry neither fear of nor malice towards homosexual people (therefore rendering the dictionary meaning of the word invalid). I just carry the opinion that homosexuals have made a wrong choice in life. They too, just like every other sinner (irrespective of sexual orientation) are in equal need of Salvation and have equal rights to make a choice between Heaven and Hell – just like every human. God does not discriminates based on the type of sin (be it pride to murder) or the choice of sexual partner.

    Unfortunately, my opinion about making a wrong choice is very quickly becoming illegal to express aloud. How can this possibly be a good thing for a democratic country?

    James Aitken

  • Hi Bill,

    So does this mean that religious institutions of all faiths will be made to perform marriage rites to people of the same sex? While it wouldn’t matter to a government organization it would matter to a church or a mosque. Well most anyway. What ever happen to the notion to agree to disagree? The trouble is that I know people who are opposed to this and they don’t believe in God at all.

    Carl Strehlow

  • This is exactly what we can expect when we allow schools that educate OUR children to push their Godless agendas like evolution on impressionable young people. I raised this recently at my son’s school, and one of the parents there, who wasn’t even queer, told me that my faith was no more than a “hobby” and had nothing to do with education.

    It’s only on sites like this that I don’t feel a lone voice. The majority of people have become so Godless that they don’t care or notice about radical groups pushing their filthy agendas on our children any more.

    Barbara Murray-Leach, UK

  • Thanks again Bill,

    Legalization of same sex marriage would be a formal rejection by the State of the Judeo/Christian ethic. It would be like the ‘abomination that causes desolation standing in the holy place’. If it were to happen I am not suggesting fleeing to the mountains, but maybe that would compel a reconsideration how we operate.

    Greg Cadman

  • I and many like me must be looking for the leadership from the churches to offer our support against what is insidiously taking place. Sadly so far we are seeing none of that, which is baffling. A voice in the wilderness is not much good. The mainstream media as you know is controlled by atheists and will not publish what the religious have to say. So where do we go from here even with all the will in the world.
    Patrick Brahams

  • For those that do want to raise their voice, there are myriad opportunities on the internet that to date are not being used.

    Some examples are the TV programme Q & A forum. There are about three christians contributing and about 100 atheists and homosexuals.

    I write on “evangelical” christian forums which are full of stories of christian struggling with homosexuality. Sad to say of them give free reign to comment in support of homosexuality and censor comment that is against it on the basis we musn’t hurt the feelings of homosexuals.

    Every time the MSM has an article on the subject, they often allow you to comment. Most of the time it is a handful of christians going up against a blast of atheists and homosexuals.

    Getting involved in things like this is beneficial as you learn all the lies that they use to justify their position so it gives you the opportunity to form counter arguments that you can repeat again and again. I have found that they give up when they know they are up against someone who has done their homework.

    One example is the atheists attempt to get christian chaplains out of State schools. One of their mantras is that these people who believe in the fairy in the sky are not qualified to give moral advice to impressionable children.

    I responded by saying that I assume you think that atheists are qualified to give moral advice because they do not believe in the fairy in the sky.

    If that is the case are you going to tell them that if you are a nuisance and not wanted the State says it is OK to kill you before you are born like the other 90,0000 babies murdered in the womb every year in Australia.

    Now that is what I call really moral.

    Response…..zilch, zero.

    Roger Marks

Leave a Reply