I have said many times that there is no state without an established religion. In the West that religion is secular atheistic humanism. This essay outlines where it is taking us!
From Juicy Ecumenism
By Rick PlastererThe increasing pace of the cultural revolution is moving ever closer to the minute regulation of life in the name of liberation on two of its big items, sex and religion. This will mean banishing traditional religion and morality not only from the public square, but prohibiting it in private life as well.
To achieve the desired liberation from what are held to be oppressive ideas, the state must regulate the world in which private life is lived – families, churches, schools, work environment, and recreation. In the classical liberalism that America particularly but also the modern West more generally has known until the present moral revolution, the state was principally interested in maintaining public order, not in regulating the private world. Indeed, personal freedom in the private world is part of classical liberalism. But if “the personal is political” as the feminism of the 1960s declared, then private life must come under state control in the name of liberation.
The project to achieve freedom by controlling private life involves the state controlling the socialization of children and young people to prevent them from acquiring the beliefs and loyalties and attitudes of their parents toward traditional religion and morality, since these are held to be oppressive. But additionally, there must be the suppression of the public display of expression which indicates loyalty to traditional religion.
The area where the real practical clash between traditional religion and secular liberalism comes today is sexual morality. No longer content to suppress traditional morality in the public square with hate speech laws (which is possible outside the United States), speech codes on college campuses or in corporations, and antidiscrimination laws, the new move in sexual liberation, evident in a number of countries across the West, is to suppress the expression of traditional sexual morality in church life and private conversation, including in the home.
One of the most extreme examples of this is now happening in Great Britain. As noted in a previous article by this writer, the apparent strategy to do much of this is to expand the meaning of “conversion therapy” to cover any opposition to homosexuality or transgenderism, in public or in private. The Ozanne Foundation, an organization of LGBT activist and Church of England General Synod member Jayne Ozanne, proposes making illegal any religious practice, which would include sermons, pastoral counseling, prayer or exorcism aimed at bringing people to repentance from homosexuality or transgenderism. “Conversion therapy” apparently also would include helping people de-transition from a “gender” other than their biological sex to which they have “transitioned.” Covered as well – which shows the real scope of the attack on Biblical morality – would be any calls for sexual abstinence.
The Christian Institute, which handles legal matters for Christians in Great Britain, is highlighting this effort, and has prepared a summary pdf briefly analyzing what advocates of the Foundation’s proposal are saying, and how they would effectively ban Christian doctrine and practice relating to homosexuality and transgenderism. Anyone objecting to being taught or counseled that homosexuality is sinful and that they should repent, even in the form of a loving admonition or plea, could be reported to authorities as being guilty of “conversion therapy.” The document notes, however, that Biblical doctrine against homosexuality was been “deemed worthy of respect” by U.K. courts, and its “manifestation” protected by human rights law in a “leading case.”
The same attempt to simply ban speech that advances Biblical morality with respect to abortion is seen in France, where a 2017 law makes pro-life websites, and any attempt to dissuade a woman from having an abortion with information and moral suasion illegal.
All of this is justified on the basis that Biblical morality hurts people’s feelings. Lest there be any doubt of what is afoot, the Christian Institute notes a writer for the Guardian calling talk of “forgiveness” and “repentance” a “dog whistle for conversion therapy.” But of course the basic gospel of repentance for forgiveness of sins, is anathema to liberals, both religious and secular. Criminalizing religious doctrine with respect to LGBT issues may be an opening wedge to criminalizing the gospel of salvation from sin generally. One could ask how many people, including especially children, have suffered in agony about their salvation, and the threat of hell. If hurt feelings mandate prohibiting the gospel concerning sexual matters, they surely merit prohibiting the gospel generally. But this all supposes that the state is competent to judge religious doctrine. Yet no government will ever have to face (biological) death. It is individuals who face the prospect of dying and giving an account for their lives.
An older strategy to prohibit condemnation of homosexuality and transgenderism is the use of hate speech laws. These laws are problematic because what might be “hateful” and what is not is often subjective. Penalizing people is made to depend on the sensibilities of judges. But the laws are also dangerous because they chill speech and have the effect of putting certain topics off the table of public discussion. Scotland’s proposed Hate Crime and Public Order law makes illegal expressions that are “abusive” and which “incite hatred.” With this law, Scotland’s Justice Minister has said such “abusive” language could include the statement that men cannot be women. Since the purpose of the law is described as criminalizing expressions and attitudes, it is in fact a law aimed at thought control.
In Canada, there have been two bills to make illegal opposition to homosexuality via bans on counseling – the original bill, C-8, and a new, more radical version, C-6. Both are targeted at minors, but obviously prohibition against any expression against homosexuality or transgenderism is the ultimate objective. The original bill, C-8, prohibited 1) any expression to minors aimed at suppression of homosexuality or gender identity other than one’s sex, 2) removing a child from Canada for that purpose, 3) causing anyone to undergo conversion therapy against their will, 4) receiving money for counseling against LGBT desires or behavior, or 5) advertising for such counseling.
Under the new bill, C-6, it will also be a crime for parents to object to their child “transitioning” to the opposite sex (or any other “gender” of their choosing), cross dressing as the opposite sex (or dressing in any way to express their “gender”), or for parents to use pronouns of their child’s natural sex instead of their preferred “gender.” The substance of the court order imposed on the British Columbia father who objected to the “transitioning” of his daughter – referred to in a previous article on counseling bans – forbidding him to speak about the case and requiring him to use male pronouns in speaking to or about her on pain of causing “family violence” – which was reported with outrage – now threatens to be imposed on all parents in Canada. As the linked LifeSiteNews article states:
“Our precious children, we are told, must be allowed to express themselves according to any non-conforming gender identity they hear about at school or see online. (And there are literally dozens of possible “genders” to choose from!) Can you imagine the chaos? All the while, parents may do nothing but “affirm” their kids like slavish yes-men — or else face five years in jail!”
The C-6 bill also seems to be expanded to cover any expression against homosexuality or transgenderism, since now not only advertising, but any expression which will “promote” conversion therapy would be illegal. Thus:
“any public messages, articles, pamphlets, books, web pages, websites, or YouTube videos espousing a traditional view of sexuality or gender can be ‘seized” or “deleted.’”
As LifeSiteNews notes, this could include portions of the Bible that condemn homosexuality. State authority replaces parental authority, and the government is involved “controlling and compelling our speech.”
Of course the bill has been spoken against. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada well outlines the areas where the bill would impact Christian life, and offers an even more detailed analysis in pdf form. The second document notes 2019 Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education refers to religious institutions as sources of sexual instruction, and also notes that freedom to teach and practice religious beliefs is protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Stop the Ban website presents moving stories of people who have left homosexual life or who have de-transitioned from a self-determined gender to re-identification with their biological sex. Commonly they speak of their commitment to Jesus Christ, their joy in him at freedom from sin, and how C-6 would make the ideas they have found freeing and the stories of their lives based on that freedom illegal. One man, Hudson Byblow, notably said that:
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea to have ideas that bring people freedom and peace to become deemed as hateful.” The bill isn’t about therapists profiting off vulnerable people, but “the illegalization of ideas, and the illegalization of stories like mine.” He says he may eventually have to go to jail for sharing his story.
Stop the Ban also offers on its website compelling (and staggering) analyses of the different aspects of the bill that savagely attack truth and freedom – from the blatant lies of the Trudeau government and mainstream media concerning the false claims of electroshock therapy, to the jailing of parents, priests, pastors, and professional counselors who say anything against homosexuality or transgenderism if the bill passes, to the ludicrous claims that offerings given to churches by people converting from LGBT life are payment for conversion therapy.
Additionally, the law facilitates the social contagion of gender dysphoria (identification with the opposite sex) by children and young people with its usual one-sided provision that young people can be counseled to support changing their gender, but not to identify with their biological sex. It also authorizes wire-tapping of private homes and churches to ensure that there is no condemnation of homosexuality or encouragement of identification with one’s biological sex.
Both bills C-8 and C-6 in Canada effectively censor the religious instruction of children by parents, churches, and anyone else. The use of wire-tapping to monitor conversations in the home is especially noteworthy and alarming. After years of trying to restrict traditional religion to the private sphere, we see that it is not acceptable there either. Scotland’s proposed hate speech law and a similar bill on its way through Parliament covering the whole United Kingdom chill speech by making religious speech someone finds offensive subject to the sensibilities of judges. All of these laws are moving toward the goal of the Ozanne Foundation proposal, which makes opposition to homosexuality and transgenderism illegal in both the public and private worlds.
What appears to be happening is the final phase of the sexual revolution’s war against Christianity. As noted in this writer’s article concerning the report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief has maintained that all religions groups should be open to everyone on an equal basis regardless homosexual behavior or inclination, gender identity, biological sex, or status with respect to abortion. This, together with proposed speech and thought control laws like that of the Ozanne Foundation, would amount to an international common law prohibiting opposition to homosexuality, transgenderism, or abortion.
Duty to God never changes, however hostile the government one lives under. Christians must declare the truth of God in obedience to God, just as Peter and the apostles refused to be silent when commanded not speak in the name of Jesus by the authorities in Jerusalem (Acts 5:27-31), and Paul declared the whole counsel of God to the Ephesians (Acts 20:26-27), so we must declare the truth God has revealed in Scripture, in particular the gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins (Lk. 24:46-47), regardless of how pained or offended anyone is, or the requirements of human law. Christians must always speak and act against homosexuality, or any other sin, because we are commanded to turn from sin (Lk. 13:1-5).
While we do want to make duty to God our first consideration and our first defense to the world in not complying with sinful requirements, we can also observe that the right not to be offended, which lies at the heart of these laws, is essentially a demand for tyranny. One could have anything one wants by claiming personal offense. Religious freedom by contrast appeals to religious authority, and especially texts held to be sacred, to establish its rights.
It is sad to think that America spent more than four decades after World War II resisting communism – which seemed intractable, but with final success – only to have the most important element of the struggle, religious freedom, lost in the decades after 1989. Noticeable in particular is the restriction on religious education, and its prohibition to children and young people.
The general direction of the law appears to be toward governments separating good, government approved religion, from bad, harmful religion. This amounts to a liberal state religion. It would radically alter religious sexual morality, which, while varying, shares many commonalities across world religions that sexual revolutionaries object to. More generally, legal religion would be required to bend to the will of the state. It is not a religion faithful Christians can conform to.
A recent panel discussion by the Religious Freedom Institute on restraints being placed on Islam in France, with repercussions for traditional Christians, particularly in the area of religious education, will be reviewed in a subsequent article.