What the reaction to the Indiana religious liberty law tells us about the secular left

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign
Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

I surveyed three articles for this post, and we’ll see a little from each.

Jewish conservative Ben Shapiro has more in Townhall. (H/T Pastor Matt)

Shapiro writes:

Same-sex marriage, it turns out, was never designed to grant legal benefits to same-sex couples. That could have been done under a regime of civil unions. Same-sex marriage was always designed to allow the government to have the power to cram down punishment on anyone who disobeys the government’s vision of the public good. One need not be an advocate of discrimination against gays to believe that government does not have the ability to enforce the prevailing social standards of the time in violation of individual rights. There are many situations in which advocates of freedom dislike particular exercises of that freedom but understand that government attacks on individual rights are far more threatening to the public good.

You do not have a right to my services; I have a right to provide my services to whomever I choose. If you believe that your interpretation of public good enables you to bring a gun to the party, you are a bully and a tyrant. So it is with the modern American left, to whom freedom now means only the freedom to do what it is the left wants you to do at point of gun.

And Ben Shapiro again for Breitbart on what’s next for the secular left:

[…][T]he obvious next step is for the left to target churches for revocation of their non-profit status.

[…]Once non-profit status is revoked for churches on the basis of supposed discrimination against homosexuals, those churches become private institutions engaged in commerce. Which means that they are regulated as common businesses under anti-discrimination law. Which means they can be shut down or fined for failure to perform same-sex weddings. The left says this will never happen. Which means we are a few years away from it happening.

Religious universities will certainly be targeted, both as to their non-profit status and then for fines if they refuse to provide benefits for same-sex spouses, for example. Under the Bob Jones University case, which has already been touted by the left as the model for a federal case against same-sex marriage, universities will be considered discriminatory if they stand against same-sex marriage the same way Bob Jones University was with regard to its interracial dating standard. The difference, of course, is that dating between races is not the same as dating within the same sex. But the left has always equated race with homosexual behavior and will extend that equation to the law as it applies to institutions of higher education.

Just because religious schools are run by religious institutions does not exempt them from the wrath of the left. Leftists have already declared in states in which same-sex marriage has been approved that children must be taught about same-sex marriage in public schools; in California, for example, the law also requires that parents allow children to attend such classes.

This logic will be extended to private schools. Why should private schools be allowed to “discriminate” against same-sex couples by exempting children from learning about them? Why should homeschooled children be given state-credentialed status without being indoctrinated in the decency of homosexual behavior, all in the name of non-discrimination?

Here is an article from The Stream:

History teaches that mass vilification rarely stops short of spilling blood. The French Jacobins who spent the 1780s slandering the clergy in pornographic pamphlets went on in the 1790s to slaughter Christians by the hundreds of thousands. The Turks paved the way for killing a million Armenian Christians with a wave of propaganda. The Bolsheviks followed their “anti-God” crusade of the 1920s with starvation camps and firing squads. The Communist governments of Eastern Europe obeyed the same script, as scholar Anne Applebaum documents in her sobering study The Iron Curtain. The Hutu government of Rwanda prepared for its assault on the once-powerful Tutsis by incessantly describing them as “cockroaches” on radio broadcasts, which triggered a genocide.

The point here is that before the mob resorts to violence, they first have to dehumanize their opponents. That’s what we saw from the secular left in response to laws defending individual religious liberty against the secular state.

I think that it’s important for us to engage the source of secular leftist radicalism – the university. This is where the next generation of radical leftists are indoctrinated. I think that Christians need to be studying apologetics, as well as economics and politics. We need to have Christians study harder things in better schools and take more influential jobs. This is a major failure of the Christian church – we have been too focused on spirituality and piety at the expense of effectiveness and influence. Churches are simply not set up to connect the prosperity, liberty and security that Christians need to act as authentic Christians in the public square, to specific battles over laws and policies. We are not persuasive or effective in those battles.

We really need to be more engaged and well-rounded, but all I see the church doing is the gospel, the gospel, the gospel – every week. I don’t even know whether my pastor is pro-life or pro-marriage, and he certainly has never shared any reasons for his flock to be. And as far as apologetics, politics and economics? Forget it. I wonder how many young evangelicals in his church voted to set in motion the forces that would see him presiding over gay weddings , or having his children taken away from him lest they learn that there is anything wrong with abortion. But I’m sure he is very good at reading devotions, singing praise hymns, and doing Bible study. We need to be training influential young Christians and raising effective children.

5 thoughts on “What the reaction to the Indiana religious liberty law tells us about the secular left”

  1. “I don’t even know whether my pastor is pro-life or pro-marriage, and he certainly has never shared any reasons for his flock to be….I wonder how many young evangelicals in his church voted to set in motion the forces that would see him presiding over gay weddings , or having his children taken away from him lest they learn that there is anything wrong with abortion. But I’m sure he is very good at reading devotions, singing praise hymns, and doing Bible study.”

    Scathing indictment. 100% truth. It just keeps getting better and better on this blog. This one’s a keeper.

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  2. Sometimes I feel like the distraught character of Denethor from The Lord of the Rings, having witnessed the seemingly hopeless conflict via a tainted seeing-stone. “The fool’s hope has failed. The Enemy has found it, and now his power waxes; he sees our very thoughts, and all we do is ruinous.”

    And yet, we must keep battling on in the face of apparently insurmountable odds. As with the story, awaiting the return of the true King.

    Your experiences with your pastor are certainly not unique – it seems all too common. I wish the church would waken out of its self-induced coma and start taking these matters more seriously; I fear that our apathy for what goes on in the political and intellectual spheres will be our undoing (in the present, at any rate).

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  3. As to the indoctrination of school children on acceptance of homosexuality as normal, even preferable: homeschooling will not long be acceptable. Many factions have long been trying to put us homeschoolers out of business.

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    1. HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) has almost singlehandedly defended and advanced the rights of parents to homeschool in this country (and also, to some degree, in other countries). I recommend that all homeschoolers become members and that others who wish to preserve the liberty for parents to teach their children to donate to HSLDA. They are doing great work that is sorely needed.

      There are few things more subversive in our society or more dangerous to the goals of the left than Christian parents educating their own children according to their values. That is why the left fights against homeschooling so ardently. And why we must fight for that right so desperately.

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      1. I agree with you, Lindsay, with some comments. HSLDA worked in partnership with, and at the behest of, home educating parents all over this country…the credit is not to HSLDA alone. We ought never to forget the power nor the responsibility of parents and families to establish and guard the freedom to educate as free citizens.
        A caveat: if HSLDA’s promotion of its own agenda/platform conflicts with the rights of homeschoolers…guess who wins.
        I’m in Pennsylvania. HSLDA, at the urging of a faction of PA homeschoolers, took a high-accountability but extremely effective homeschool law and lobbied successfully for changes which make the experience less “burdensome.” I won’t go into the pros and cons here, but I wanted to mention this: Those of us who wanted the law left alone were dismissed, marginalized and misrepresented (slandered) by HSLDA.
        Let’s not make the mistake of leaving our freedoms to “experts” or to organizations with agendas to protect. The responsibilities are ours.

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