Word From the Center: Friday, June 29, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s issue…

The Weaponizing of Politics – targeting traditional sexual mores and the Bible itself

A friend of mine sent me a note about a bill that is presently going through the California legislature, namely Senate Bill 2943. (See here for more information). This bill is supposed to “protect LGBT” people from “conversion therapy,” by banning counseling that maintains the possibility of the “coming out” of the homosexual lifestyle. It should be noted that this bill would disallow such guidance even if an adult homosexual person seeks out such counsel of their own volition. Chilling. In a time of supposed gender fluidity, where people can claim a variety of notions about their gender or their preferred sexual practices, the only thing that is considered “nefarious” is the notion of tradition values and morals, the traditional limitation of sexuality only within the bond of marriage, and the fundamental differentiation of the male/female union from all others.

In a time of sexual confusion, the explosion of STD’s, METOO concerns, fatherless homes, destructive serial monogamy via divorce, and gender fluidity, the real question to be noted here (especially from a “left hand Kingdom” perspective of the Christian Church in the United States), is “What business is it of the government to be defining what a ‘healthy relationship’ is in the first place?” Governments don’t “grant” rights and they sure don’t define healthy relationships—not in a free society anyway. They can guard inalienable rights that a “person” has from their Creator, or they can “take rights away” for very clearly defined, limited purposes. So, What’s the purpose of involving the coercive power of the State in the definition of what can and cannot be discussed about sex, sexuality, relationships, and mental/spiritual health? It is the wrong-headed limiting of rights, the stifling of dialogue, even the punishing of legitimate disagreement that is the real issue here.

The fact that the legislature is involving itself in this discussion should be of concern to everyone, whether people of biblical, traditional values, or of those who hold completely different views. Our society is presently engaged in a weaponization of politics that is designed to codify our cultural values through the coercive power of the law. Such weaponization doesn’t stop at punishing bad “behavior.” It is more than comfortable punishing bad thoughts (as defined by the state), and bad speech (also defined by the state). It’s time to tell the bureaucracies of our culture that we, the people, have religious liberty, freedom of speech, and the freedom to serve others, gay or straight, the way that Jesus Christ serves us. People don’t have to agree with the biblical perspective on these things, but a civility of discourse, even a healthy notion that we can disagree but not be disagreeable shouldn’t be taken away by the raw power of punitive laws and state-supported threats of endless litigation.