NEWS FROM THE CENTER FRIDAY DIGEST October 22 - Stop Litigating Cultural and Moral Differences, Please!
Cochran was a dedicated and decorated city employee who suddenly came under fire because of a devotional book that he had written on his free-time, and not at work. It briefly described his Christian views on sex and marriage—views that are very traditional and mainstream. He was immediately suspended for 30 days, directed to attend “sensitivity training,” and then summarily fired even though a thorough investigation showed that Cochran was a very good leader and had never discriminated against anyone. His crime? He had a different view of the purpose of sex and the institution marriage and family as compared to the libertine views of the “thought police” in our society today. For that he was to be punished and quite severely.
Our plea? Stop litigating cultural, moral differences, please! Think for a moment about the widespread destruction of marriage today and the ensuing chaos in our neighborhoods with the STD’s, the broken relationships, and the growing callousness between men and women emanating from the sexual revolution (devolution?) of the 1960s. In light of all of that one would think that Cochran’s call to men to return to chastity, committed love, and family would be welcomed as the benevolent solution that it is. Instead, we are criminalizing viewpoints that once were rightly considered mainstream and just.
The LCRL’s position on many of these cultural issues is to protect them as issues involving freedom of speech and freedom of religion, defending our dissenting voice in a culture that should value such a dialogue. Such issues should be engaged via dialogues of persuasion and not by the politics of coercion. Thankfully, the courts sided with Cochran and ruled that the city of Atlanta had indeed violated the chief’s first amendment rights. The courts determined that Atlanta’s rules restricting non-work speech, like the book for Christian men that Cochran wrote, were too broad and allowed city officials to unconstitutionally discriminate against views with which they disagree. But it should give us pause that such rules are being written in cities around the country. As a result, merely holding a biblical view of marriage and family is now considered a legitimate cause for one’s termination, no matter how well a person does his or her job. The work of protecting a Christian’s and the Church’s right to have a public voice in our culture prayerfully goes on.
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty.
Learn more about the research on abortion drugs with Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
How are Christians called to care for the elderly, the aging, the terminally ill? The Rev. Brian Heller explains how we as Lutherans can value life, even in its final moments.
“God has put us in our roles as life-affirming Lutherans in this place at this time. We must continue despite the world’s resistance. We must lean on God because He will support us. We must remember He has the words of eternal life!” -- Virginia Flo, Regional Director of Minnesota and National Conference Director, Lutherans For Life
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