1. Marriage and Moral Issues
Issues of sexuality have moral implications, and homosexual acts are no exception.
People of faith should not force morals on others. Nevertheless, for centuries Christian faith has provided a solid framework for morality, and created a cornerstone of our western civilisation.
And while some people reject Christian morals, in every free society, freedom of religion has been established as an inalienable right.
Bigger than Donald Trump.
Donald Trump issued an order preventing Muslims from entering America. But Attorney General, Sally Yates, refused it (and lost her job), saying it was unlawful. Why?
This is a defining, founding principle of our country: religious freedom. How can (my) Department of Justice go in and defend something that so significantly undermines that…” (The New Yorker, May 29, 2017 – emphasis added.)
So too, in our free Australia, freedom of religion is a founding principle.
What is the Christian view on homosexuality and SSM?
The Bible (and other major religious books) teaches sex has been created by God and reserved for a man and a woman in marriage. Here are major passages.
“Haven’t you read,” (Jesus) replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
(Apostle Paul – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
See also Romans 1:18-32 (See www.Biblegateway.com)
ALSO – in the Old Testament (and also embraced by Jews and Muslims)…
Leviticus 18:22 and Genesis 19:1-29
So if you are one of the 52% of Australians who identify with the Christian faith, that is what your bible teaches – clearly a contradiction to SSM.
And if you are one of the 48% who do not identify with the Christian faith, you are free to pursue your choice without consequence on this earth. Freedom of choice is foundational. That freedom and how we respond determines our eternal destiny. Choose wisely.
2. Imposing beliefs on others.
Labor frontbencher Penny Wong, speaking to a NSW Labor Lawyers gathering, said:
“Religious freedom means being free to worship and follow your faith without suffering persecution or discrimination for your beliefs. It does not mean imposing your beliefs on everyone else…. And it most emphatically does not mean deploying the power of the state to enforce one set of religious beliefs. One’s own views should not determine the rights of others.” (Reported in Sydney Morning Herald Wed 17/5/17)
Think about the above words:
Religious freedom… does not mean imposing your (Christian) beliefs on everyone else.
If that is true, we can say in like manner:
Secular freedom does not mean imposing secular beliefs on everyone else.
The fact is SSM does just that. It imposes secular beliefs on people of faith.
What is more, we can rephrase Penny Wong’s next sentence to say:
Secular freedom … most emphatically does not mean deploying the power of the state to enforce one set of secular beliefs.
We can also most emphatically say the power of the state is being used to enforce secular beliefs in countries embracing SSM. Here are just a few more examples:
The Irish Experience
Ireland voted for SSM and protection of religious freedom. That freedom lasted six months, when an Employment Equality Act took away the right of church schools to dismiss homosexual activists who defied church teaching on marriage.
A Christian couple Karen and Colin McArthur running a cake shop in Belfast, were asked by a homosexual activist to bake a wedding cake (as pictured).
The couple politely declined and the activist took them to the Equality Commission where they were found guilty of discrimination and fined. A lengthy case followed. Google it for the latest. (Stealing from a Child P226)
The Canadian Experience
Oregon father of five Aaron Klein was also asked to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. That went against what he believed to be right and true, so he declined. For that he was fined $135,000!!! and lost his livelihood.
The American Experience
Baker: Two months after the Supreme Court imposed SSM on the nation, a Denver baker who also refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake, was told by a Colorado Court of Appeals he could not quote his religious beliefs as an excuse to refuse service.
Florist: Barronelle Stutzman (pictured), a florist in Washington State, was pursued through the courts for refusing to provide flowers for a homosexual wedding.
She had willingly provided them flowers on several other occasions including birthdays, but could not violate her faith on this issue.
Photographer: Jon and Elaine Huguenin declined to take photos for a same-sex wedding in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that they needed to set aside their religious convictions as “the price of citizenship”.
Wedding Venue Hire: An elderly Mennonite couple Richard and Betty Odgaard declined a request to hire their art gallery for a homosexual wedding. A complaint was immediately lodged with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Odgaards knew if they continued to offer their facility for weddings they would be further action against them. Betty said “We didn’t have a choice. We would be targets”. This drove her into a “really dark depression” for which she had to seek help from professionals. She said “I’m a melancholy artist and no stranger to depression, but this took me down the darkest I’ve ever been before.”
The above examples are clearly a state enforced imposition of secularity, and a violation of freedom of religion.
Note that Senator Penny Wong, in a 2015 debate with Senator Cori Bernadi, said that Australian lesbian couples would simply avoid bakers who did not want to bake them a cake. (SFAC P225) It is hard not to be cynical of such a statement.
Trouble in the American Supreme Court
Having introduced a SSM law which violates religious freedom, the American Supreme Court is now facing the consequences of passing that law. It has agreed to hear an appeal for a SSM discrimination case dating back to 2012.
A baker, Jack Phillips (mentioned earlier), refused to make a cake for same-sex wedding and was ordered by Colorado Civil Rights Commission to “re-educate” his staff, agree to make cakes for same-sex weddings now and provide quarterly reports about his compliance. He appealed that, and the Supreme Court now has the unenviable task of convincing the world that their new SSM laws – which violate the religious freedom of Jack Phillips – do not violate the constitution which protects Jack Phillip’s freedom of religion.
In Australia, we have been given to believe religious freedoms would be protected if SSM is legalised here. Again, it is hard not to be cynical of such a statement. Yes, initial legislation might include such concessions, but activists need only wait till a more sympathetic government takes power and concessions can easily be removed. Homosexual activists would certainly not rest till that is done.
Even without SSM laws, Australia has already seen persecution via the courts. For example, Tasmania’s Archbishop Porteous was pursued for distributing a pastoral letter “Don’t Mess with Marriage”. The pastoral letter was not at all radical or defamatory – Australian columnist Angela Shanahan described it as “what you and most of the world’s population believes to be right… fundamental Christian doctrine”. But for that he faced protracted legal action from a homosexual activist.
If this is our situation without SSM, imagine our future if SSM laws were introduced – in our land of the fair go, and where religious freedom has been an inviolable right since foundation.
3. A Trivial Issue?
Same-sex laws are not trivial – they become in law, for homosexuals, what Civil Rights laws became for American blacks.
SSM laws have far reaching implications. In the eyes of the law, refusing to sell a SSM wedding cake to a homosexual, is equivalent to denying restaurant entry to a black.
But there is a world of difference:
- Blacks are born black
- Homosexuals are not born homosexual
Many homosexuals dispute that second point (others don’t), but there is no definitive evidence to prove homosexuals are born that way, and significant evidence for the opposite. (For example many heterosexuals have changed to homosexual, and many homosexuals have changed to heterosexual, even marrying happily and successfully raising a family.)
- whereas civil rights laws for blacks stem from an issue of birth
- SSM laws for homosexuals stem from an issue of sexual behaviour
- And sexual behaviour has to do with CHOICES, which have the MORAL implications
MORAL implications, as discussed above, must be accompanied by freedom of choice. They cannot be enforced.
There was a time when laws were used to force homosexuals to alter their behaviour – even to the extent of chemical castration. That, of course, was wrong, and has long gone.
Now, not only have new laws given homosexuals the right to sexual choice, but SSM laws are being used to force others to participate in SSM activities, with laws that have equal force to American Civil Rights law.
That is clearly a violation of human rights.
4. Freedom to Practise Religion
Freedom of religion is not just the freedom believe religious teachings, it is freedom to practise or exercise those beliefs. Look at this.
SSM was imposed on the USA on a decision of nine judges of the US Supreme Court. Five in favour, four against. Dissenting judges pointed out these disturbing issues:
Justice Alito: was concerned that the new SSM laws would…
“…be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority (of voting judges) compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent… I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they risk being labelled as bigots and treated as such by governments employers and schools.“ (Emphasis added)
Chief Justice Roberts said this:
“The majority (of voting judges) graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views on marriage.”
He went on to say that the First Amendment is not just about ideas but actions. He said the First Amendment:
“…guarantees the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously that is not a word the majority (of voting judges) uses.” (Emphasis added – in plain language the other judges were saying you can speak about your religion but don’t put it into action.)
“Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for ‘religious organisations and persons… as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths’. Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.” (Emphasis added)
THIS IS THE HEART OF THIS ISSUE: SSM INEVITABLY BRINGS WITH IT THE FUNDAMENTAL DENIAL OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BY DENYING THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS THAT RELIGION.
5. Conscientious Objection on Moral Issues
Since time began believers and others have refused to engage in activities where moral issues are compromised – whether those activities are legal or illegal. For example:
- Conscientious objectors may refuse to fight in war on religious grounds
- A printer may refuse to print material (e.g. pornography, slanderous material etc.) that compromises his morals
- A tradesman may refuse to do work on, say, a brothel or abortion clinic (note that both are legal in Australia)
- Doctors and nurses may refuse to take part in abortions or euthanasia
- Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama
Such refusal is even considered a responsibility.
Dr Martin Luther King – civil rights champion – said:
I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.
And Dietrich Bonhoeffer – who resisted Hitler and was murdered by him at the end of WW2:
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
So too Christians (and others) who consider SSM morally wrong refuse, for example, to provide services for same-sex weddings. The point of tension is obvious – the homosexual, who does not consider their practice morally wrong, resents the implication.
6. Christians have right to speak against damage of breaking moral laws.
Penny Wong has said religious freedom does not mean imposing your beliefs on everyone else. That is true, but does not hold for harmful consequences associated with them.
Breaking a moral law is one thing, harming others by that action is quite another. Then Christians have a right to speak out AND a duty. And so should everyone else!
For those willing to see, breaking moral law inevitably has consequences.
In many cases, people harmed by broken moral law are vulnerable – they have no voice or popular cause, and are easily bullied into silence. For example William Wilberforce fought slavery in the 1780’s when emancipation was not a popular cause. Many opposed him, even some sections of the church. But it was his religious faith that gave him the conviction of his cause and the will to persevere.
So too Christians fight a moral cause – against SSM. They identified a harmful consequence: damage to vulnerable children robbed of biological parents, children who have no voice and no popular cause. Those who do speak for these children are labelled “bigots”, “haters” and “homophobes”. Religious faith gives Christians the conviction and courage to resist that vilification.
(Of course Christians are not the only ones standing against the flow. As mentioned before, even some homosexuals, recognise the error of SSM and speak out.)
Speaking out in this way is not just a Christian philosophy – it stems from the time honoured principle – our freedom must be limited when it conflicts with freedoms of others. SSM conflicts with the freedom and rights of children. Christians have not only a right but a duty to defend them.
7. Christians have an earned right to speak
Just as anyone should be free to speak so too should Christians. Not only that, Christians are a substantial part of the population.
In round figures:
- 52% plus of our population identify with the Christian faith (2016 Census)
- Only 2.5% of the population identify as homosexual
- Only 10% of homosexuals want to marry (i.e. 0.25% of the population)
And further, Christians have an unequalled history of benevolence and defending what is right.
So the Christian voice should not be ignored, especially considering the degree of influence the tiny LGBT movement has had, and its massive efforts to silence opponents. (That is not to say valid rights of minority homosexuals should be ignored, rather it reasserts the right of a Christian voice which has been supressed by loud antagonistic voices.)
The Christian voice has earned a place unmatched in this world. Despite endless efforts to sully its good name, and the actions of a minority who violated the faith and brought it disrepute, Christianity has a record that is simply unmatched in this world – for fighting for truth and justice, for community service, and in almost every aspect of life, including education, health, science, art, music, government, the judiciary and more. Consider:
Influential Christians and Christian inspired ministries
Here are just a few of the activities and lives Christianity has influenced:
and thousands and millions more.
Impact of Christianity
Not only that, the Christian faith has brought immeasurable happiness, peace and prosperity to millions. Look at a few random examples:
Happiness: People attending church have higher levels of happiness and wellbeing. (Lots of studies confirm this)
Premature death: The Herald Sun reported 18/5/2017 that people attending church regularly had a 33% lower risk of dying prematurely.
Benefactors: Active Christians are the most generous benefactors.
- In the US about two thirds of charitable giving comes from the 38% of Americans who go to church weekly.
- They give 3.4% of their weekly income. Those who attend church only a few times a year average just 1.4%, and those who don’t attend average 1.1%
- Two thirds of the money donated to non-religious charities comes from church members.
- The more conservative (evangelical, Bible believing) the Christian, the more they give.
(The Anatomy of a Giver – by Tim Stafford, Christianity Today 41, no 6 (1997)
African solution: Matthew Parris, former British MP, gay activist, African commentator and atheist wrote in The Times December 2008 under the heading “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God. Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity in the people’s mindset”:
He said: “In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”
- 11.2% of husbands who never attend church assault their wives
- 6.2% of husbands who attended church sporadically assault their wives
- 2.2% of husbands who attended church at least monthly assault their wives
(Paper by Professor Christopher G. Ellison, quoted in Declaration of War on Faith by Andrew Bolt, Courier Mail 20/7/17)
Freedom, the American Constitution and religion
John Adams, second USA President and founding father wrote:
Statesmen …may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue… (Wiki John Adams 31/7/17)
Alexander Solszhenitsyn, who wrote about the system of Soviet state sponsored killing of some 60 to 70 million people in Gulag Archipelago (more than 30 million copies sold), said: … if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat (what old people used to say when he was a child) “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened”. (Finding God by John M Mulder P 308, 309)
And there is much, much, more if you look for it.
Occasionally people who identify as Christians perform crimes and atrocities that bring terrible discredit to Christianity. In all these you find clear evidence they have violated the clear teachings of the New Testament and Christ himself – a message of holiness, forgiveness, restoration, faithfulness, benevolence, love and peace.
Ironically, while the Christian faith has brought more good than any other movement in the history of the world, persecution watches indicate Christians are the most persecuted people in the world today. The persecution of Christians in countries embracing SSM is just another example of this.
Conclusion: On issues of morality and consequences of violations of moral codes, Christians are well placed to speak and their voice should be heard.
And note this…
The same Bible, that inspired all these activities and individuals, and brought all these benefits, the biggest selling book in the world, teaches marriage should be between a man and a woman, and sex has been created by God and reserved for a man and a woman in marriage.
8. Freedom of Speech
It is not only people of faith who are persecuted. Anyone who speaks out against SSM becomes a target for criticism and vilification.
Brendan Eich, creator of Java Script, was promoted to CEO of Mozilla Corporation in 2014. But he had donated $1000 to a plebiscite against SSM in California in 2008, so OKCupid began a campaign of abuse against Mozilla, forcing Eich’s resignation.
So blatant was this suppression of free speech that it attracted criticism even from more rational homosexual activists. Andrew Sullivan wrote:
“The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.” (SFAC P228)
J.K. Rowling – who likely supports SSM – made the following comment at the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award May 2016, after 500,000 signatures were received asking to ban Donald Trump’s entry to England:
“I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country (England) and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine…If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.”
- SSM brings with it hypocritical and blatant INJUSTICE
- SSM laws in Australia should be opposed by every fair minded Australian.
A FAIR GO FOR GAYS, BUT A FAIR GO FOR EVERYONE ELSE TOO