Map from GayChurch.org of US churches affirming the homosexual lifestyle
By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O'Neil -
As reported on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, a new California resolution puts pressure on churches to accept homosexuality, even though the practice is in opposition to their Biblical doctrine. Obviously, the resolution has caused concern for some and created a conversation for many others.
Does this violate specific mandates in our nation’s law that calls for a “separation between Church and State?”, even though the United States Constitution does not state in so many words that there is a separation of church and state. The first part of the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
["Separation of church and state" is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"
The phrase "separation between church & state" is generally traced to a January 1, 1802, letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper. Jefferson.]
Even so, will other states, such as Illinois, watch the issue closely to determine if they too might join California to infiltrate churches for political purposes?
Homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle
One of the most volatile and important issues facing the Church today is the question of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. According to the Bible, marriage is heterosexual by definition. Jesus, when expressing his understanding of the scriptural foundation for the divine purpose and design in marriage, referred to its origins in the Creation account: “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh…” (Mark 10:6-8, quoting Genesis 2:24).
The Church cannot duck this question. The collision between LGBT concerns and concerns of religious freedom, exemplified in the case of the Colorado baker who refused on grounds of conscience to supply a wedding cake carrying a message endorsing same sex marriage, along with the U.S. Supreme Court’s re-definition of “marriage” to include same sex unions, have thrust this question to the front and center of American culture.
Christians who deny the legitimacy of a homosexual lifestyle are routinely denounced as homophobic, intolerant, even hateful. There is thus tremendous intimidation concerning this issue. Some churches have moved away from the historic Christian position and endorsed the homosexual lifestyle and even ordain those who practice it to serve as their ministers.
Bishop William Love of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany was punished last year by The Episcopal Church for refusing to enforce a recently enacted resolution allowing congregations in his regional body to bless same-sex marriages. In a statement released while attending the fall House of Bishops’ Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bishop Love announced that the Title IV Reference Panel voted to refer his appeal to the Hearing Panel. Bishop Love has appealed a punishment for refusing to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese and will go before a hearing panel to argue his case.
Although the United States has been considered a Christian nation, there appears to be a trend to consider opinions of atheists and foreigners over American citizens whose families have attended places of worship for generations.
The Bible and Christian churches teach compassion and offer help to those who wish to change their lifestyle, including those who have experimented with a variety of sexual partners and/or illegal activities, but then later chose to leave that lifestyle. Many have successfully done so, married, and testified to being exceedingly grateful for their chance to escape a lifestyle they found uncomfortable if not dangerous.
AIDS epidemic changes "game plan"
Some of us likely know someone who escaped from a life of homosexuality, perhaps even someone close to us. Others may have worked with a church group that ministered to those who wanted to leave the lifestyle behind.
We watched the LGBT movement gain strength during the 1970’s, then head into a decline. How did that happen? Some believe it was the AIDS epidemic which hit many communities with a vengeance. At first nobody knew the root cause of AIDS, but because so many within the LGBT were infected, the medical community realized they were the cause and/or the carriers.
There were good reasons for fearing this deadly virus. Because it was so new, doctors did not know how best to treat it. Co-author Bonnie O'Neil recalls an incident involving a friend's son who experienced a serious accident in San Francisco. This resulted in his need for a blood transfusion. The blood given him contained the AIDS virus. He survived his injuries but died from the blood infusion, which turned out to have been given by an AIDS victim. This was becoming all too common before the medical community knew much about the new virus or how it was transferred.
Once science learned how to identify AIDS and understood that the LGBT group was one of the primary groups spreading it, many people began shunning the homosexual community, fearful the virus might be somehow transferred to them. This created the need for LGBT leaders to strategize how to protect their community from the intense public stigma raging at the time.
A LGBT's “game plan" was devised to change public perspective. It was a detailed plan to persuade the public that homosexuals were not the cause of AIDS, but were in fact sensitive, intelligent and hard-working people, just like the rest of the population. And it worked!
Difference between harassing and mandating embrace
There is, however, a big difference between not harassing and/or harming someone based on their homosexual lifestyle and suggesting churches embrace those who identify as LGBT. For officials to ask pastors to embrace the LGBT Community, this could be interpreted as a violation of church & state, especially knowing the Bible and other religious books clearly state that homosexual behavior is a sin.
Legislators seem not to have respect for the Christian Bible and other religious books, all of which clearly state homosexuality is not just wrong; it is a sin. Are they unaware that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior, just as they do adultery, stealing, murder and/or any other sin described in the Bible, Koran, or other religious books?
While the CA legislation just suggests churches “embrace” LGBT identities today, does anyone doubt that within a few years it will become mandatory? Where is the outrage from people of faith? It could be that most CA churches do not know of this new “resolution”, but what about their elected representatives. Why hasn’t this highly questionable new proposal been a subject of conversation before now in Ca?
What, if any, penalties will be applied if a church chooses to ignore the “resolution”? Likely none today. Knowing how the system works, should the proposal become law failure to obey could be a costly violation for many CA churches.
California State Constitution, Article One, Declaration of Rights, Section Four:
SEC. 4. Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. The Legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. A person is not incompetent to be a witness or juror because of his or her opinions on religious beliefs.
The criminals in California violated the top state law twice by enacting that resolution
Nancy & Bonnie, With all due respect, what California did is not a violation of the US Constitution. Remember, the first amendment in the US Constitution states in part “CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW…
First Amendment, US Constitution: “Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The California state constitution’s declaration of rights Art One, section four contains provisions (The free exercise clause & the Legislature shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion) that effectively creates a “separation between Church and State”.
It tells the California state legislature to butt out of Church business….
Homosexual need to get help for their mental issues. Yet they have lobbied to refuse help.
Homosexuals have lobbied that so that they can give blood. Now they again can give blood. No one is just a little HIV positive. After initial infection of HIV. Instrument cannot detect the HIV virus.
I cannot give blood because I spent too much time in Europe.
Possible Mad Cow disease. I do wish to exercise my right to give blood. People mater
Love Saves Lives
This is exactly what tolerance gets you. This is the result of the slippery lope that relay started with Matthew Shepard. I warned people back then what was really happening.
JB will be proposing this next. As California goes so does Illinois- down the drain.
9-24-19, Good News, Nancy!
On June 4, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips who refused to bake a cake with homosexual message for same sex men’s wedding because of his religious Christian beliefs; the ruling was 7-2.
The decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission – The court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed hostility toward the baker based on his religious beliefs.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco explained: “A custom wedding cake is not an ordinary baked good; its function is more communicative and artistic than utilitarian. Accordingly, the government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write.”