(Moody Broadcasting Network, 2013)
The mounting animosity against those of us who believe not only in the traditional definition of marriage but the authority of Scripture has reached a feverish pitch with the introduction of a new ordinance being debated by a city council in Texas.
The city council of San Antonio has introduced a bill that is patently more discriminatory against Christians than anything I have ever seen before. Like many non-discrimination policies, the council is proposing to add words like "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the long list of other identifiers on their list, which is based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1964.
The proposed ordinance states that "No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such a person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any persons, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or disability."
It goes on to say, "Violation of this standard shall be considered malfeasance in office, and the City Council shall be authorized to take action as provided by law to remove the offending person from office."
Consider what the ordinance is trying to do. If you believe that the Bible is right – that marriage should be one man and one woman – and if you believe that sexual activity outside of that God-given model is (here comes that politically incorrect word) sin – and you tell somebody that, you cannot hold office in San Antonio and the government of that city won't do business with you. Stunning, simply stunning!
The mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, has tried to use a clever turn of a phrase to garner support for this proposal by saying, "I believe that we cannot have second-class citizens in this city. If you are for this ordinance you are against discrimination. If you are against this ordinance you are for discrimination." Nice try, Mr. Mayor. But you fail to see the outright discrimination this proposal would enshrine against people based on their religiously held beliefs. That is the very definition of a second-class citizen.
If this ordinance were to pass, the ink would not be dry on the proposal before a lawsuit would be filed. As it stands now, the bill stands in stark contrast to the protections afforded all of us through the First Amendment. We are free to not only believe something, but we are free to talk about what we believe – and not be shoved outside the city gates because our beliefs are not popular or politically correct!
The city of San Antonio is trying to pass a mini version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that is currently working its way through the US Congress. Like this bill, ENDA does not fully protect religious groups either. Things are going to get rough for those who dare to speak the Truth in love.
As storm clouds gather on the cultural horizon, may we remember what the Lord told Joshua – "Be strong and very courageous."