Religious Freedom vs. Gay Rights in Georgia, NC, San Francisco: We Must Unite Against the Bullies

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

The mayor of San Francisco has banned all publicly-funded city employees from traveling to North Carolina.

The NFL is threatening to block Atlanta, Georgia from hosting a future Super Bowl.

The NBA is threatening to relocate next year's All Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina to another city.

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Corporate giants like American Airlines and Hollywood giants like Disney are threatening action against Georgia and North Carolina.


It is because North Carolina has passed a bill requiring people to use the public bathroom or locker room that corresponds to their birth certificate gender and because Georgia has enacted legislation that would protect pastors from having to perform same-sex "marriages."

(Editor's note: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will reportedly veto the bill.)

It is time for Christians and all people of conscience to say, "Enough is enough with your bullying. We are not going to bow down to your threats. We will do what is right, regardless of cost or consequence, and in the end, we will be vindicated for taking a stand."

As for Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, he's acting more like a dictator than a mayor. Who gave him the right to tell city-funded employees where they could travel in their own country, once known as "the land of the free"?

Unfortunately, the pattern is all too familiar.

A state like Indiana passes a Religious Freedoms Act that mirrors national law, as a result of which gay bullies and their allies threaten to pull their businesses from the state — from Wal-Mart to Apple to Craig's List to the NCAA — and within days, the governor and the legislation cave, passing a new law that makes things worse than ever. (This happened in March, 2015; the Indianan legislators and governor have since pushed back to some degree.)

We cannot let this happen in our states (I have lived in North Carolina since 2003), and as believers nationwide, we must stand together and reject these pressure tactics and call them out for what they are: unethical, strong-armed, bullying.

Never bow down to bullies!

Earlier this year, I helped draft an 8-page letter to the mayor and City Council of Charlotte, detailing the negative effects that their new, "anti-LGBT discrimination" bill could have. (Ironically, a gay man who was instrumental in helping to push this bill through was a convicted, child sex-offender who has since resigned as president of Charlotte's LGBT Chamber of Commerce because of his past record.)

Among the negative effects of this bill outlined in my letter were:

1. The door would be opened wide to heterosexual predators who would use transgender bathroom rights to spy on girls and women (for chilling video evidence of what these heterosexual predators have done, see here).

2. The proposed changes could lead to widespread discrimination against Christians and other people of faith who, in good conscience, could not participate in same-sex "weddings" (such as photographers, bakers, florists, and others). The law would now be decidedly against them.

I also noted that, "National studies indicate that states which do not have non-discrimination laws including 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' are suffering no ill effects economically," dispelling the myth that only "progressive" (= "pro-LGBT") cities are prospering. The evidence is clearly against this.

This is yet another reason to stand up to the bullies: Good business practices and hard work lead to prosperity, not being politically correct. (For the truth about the North Carolina bill, which the secular media is largely failing to report, see here, and note that in North Carolina, some of the companies protesting the loudest already have policies to protect LGBT "rights" and those policies are completely unaffected by the new law.)

In Georgia, the main focus was preserving religious freedoms, such as protecting pastors from having to perform same-sex "wedding" ceremonies. (Religious freedoms were certainly an issue in North Carolina, but the central focus here was on the bathroom bill.)

Yet as Ryan Anderson pointed out, the bill passed by the Georgia legislature was quite narrow in its protections, contained language that could be used against people of faith, and was a significantly gutted version of a far from perfect original bill.

In other words, the current bill awaiting the governor's signature is quite tame, simply providing the barest of protections of our religious liberties, and it is still creating an uproar of protest, as "More than 30 of Hollywood's heaviest hitters sent a threatening letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, telling him in no uncertain terms that if he passes the religious-freedom bill the legislature handed him for consideration, they'll never work in Georgia again."

As I have warned for years (and repeated almost ad infinitum), the activists who came out of the closet want to put you and me in the closet, and they will not rest until that door is safely shut. It is time for us to say: That will never happen, and we will go to jail rather than compromise our convictions. Your bullying will backfire in the end.

When it comes to transgender issues, we are dealing with an unquantifiable, untestable condition which relies entirely on self-perception (and can switch by the day or the hour), as noted by Margaret A. Hagen, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University. Yet the mayor of Seattle recently used an executive order to allow biological males to use women's bathrooms.

What kind of social madness is this?

In the days to come, I plan to lay out some specific calls to action, including a strategy for Christian athletes in the NFL and NBA. But for now, it's time for us to get on our knees before God so we can stand tall before man, resolving in our hearts that, whatever it takes (in godly, not fleshly terms), we will do what is right. (For an excellent, strategic handbook, see here.)

For the moment, I encourage you to take a moment to send a note of appreciation to Gov. Pat McCrory in North Carolina for not caving in (he will be under heavy pressure in the days ahead) and a note strongly encouraging Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to sign House Bill 757 into law. Will you stop and do that right now?

Billy Graham once said, "Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened."

Let courage spread from you to others — in your home, your school, your place of business, your congregation — beginning today.

We will not bow down to the bullies!

Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book (September, 2015) is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter at drmichaellbrown.

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