As California's AB 2943 is about to become law, some senators are announcing their real sentiments loudly and clearly: Christians do not have the right to practice their faith. To Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and to Senator Ricardo Lara, I ask you plainly: Who appointed you God?
For those who are unaware, AB 2943 would make it illegal for anyone with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender identity confusion to get professional help. In other words, the bill would tell Christian counselors that they cannot love their neighbor as themselves. It would tell Christian pastors they cannot offer professional services to parishioners who want to get to the root of their unwanted same-sex desires.
That's why, in April, I dubbed this the "Must Stay Gay" bill.
Of course, all kinds of counseling and professional services would remain available if you want to go in the pro-LGBT direction. So, you could get counseling to help you embrace your homosexuality. Or you could get a doctor to prescribe hormone blockers for your 10-year-old daughter who thinks she's a boy trapped in a woman's body.
But counseling that would go in the opposite direction (such as helping your daughter feel whole as a girl) would be illegal. In fact, such counseling is already illegal for minors in California.
Now the outrage goes one step farther, which is why I and other have called on Christians throughout the state to prepare for civil disobedience to an unrighteous law.
On August 16, the Senate passed AB 2943 by a vote of 25-11, and the bill is scheduled to go the Assembly this coming week. Then, it will be almost definitely be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, despite a steady stream of protest.
What gives these legislators the right to restrict the freedoms of millions of Californians? Who gave them the authority to limit counselor-client relationships? Who told them to determine what people of faith can believe and practice?
When the Senate approved the bill, a byline on a pro-gay website explained that, "AB 2943 Would Make Clear in California Law that Dangerous, Discredited Practice Is Consumer Fraud, Now Heads to Assembly for Concurrence Vote."
Really? Consumer Fraud? Like offering someone a bogus cure to cancer?
The problem is that: 1) there are countless thousands of ex-gays, some of whom testified before these very legislators; 2) there are peer-reviewed studies indicating that change is possible; 3) there is no definitive, scientific evidence that professional counseling to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions is dangerous; and 4) the Bible expressly commands followers of Jesus (along with traditional Jews) not to practice homosexuality.
How, then, do some of these legislators respond? It's simple. They attack the Christian faith. In the words of Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, "The faith community, like anyone else, needs to evolve with the times. The science is clear. The claim that the First Amendment can be used as a defense for promoting fraudulent conduct is a fallacious argument."
There you have it. The faith community must "evolve with the times."
Perhaps that also means that: 1) We should no longer believe in a Creator, since Darwinian evolutionists deny His existence. Or, 2) We should no longer believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, since the world has become so pluralistic. Or, 3) We should remove all biblical passages prohibiting homosexual practice, since the Supreme Court redefined marriage. Or, 4) We should no longer quote from the Bible, since so many millennials find it bigoted and antiquated.
The list could go on and on.
No thanks, Mr. Muratsuchi. The biblical faith was here long before you and I were on this planet, and it will be here long after you and I are gone. Times change; God's Word does not.
Not only so, but your claim that people are hiding behind the First Amendment to practice something fraudulent is both false and none of your concern.
First, as stated above, by God's grace, many people do change. Ex-gays exist. Face the facts. Even liberal gay-activists like Dr. Lisa Diamond (herself a lesbian psychologist) acknowledge that "sexual orientation" is often fluid. (How ironic that, in the name of truth and science, you deny both.)
Second, if a person finds therapeutic value in sitting with a guru who claims that a sausage is divine, that is the person's prerogative. And the guru can charge for this service too.
But when Christians (or other traditional religionists) simply want to practice their time-honored, reality-proven faith, you tell them, "Not on my watch. Your faith must evolve because I say so."
I ask again, who gave you that authority? And who gave you the right to tell these countless thousands of ex-gays (and former trans-identified individuals), "You don't exist. You are all liars." Who, sir, appointed you God?
One of the co-authors of AB 2943 is Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara. He suggested that allowing people to get help for their unwanted same-sex attractions will encourage parents to torture and kill their children because they are perceived to be gay. (Seriously.) And, since he has come to peace with his own spirituality as a gay man, others are not allowed to come to a different conclusion in their own lives.
I responded to Senator Lara on this video, which breaks down fallacy after fallacy in his two-minute speech.
The bottom line is that the cat is out of the bag. In fact, it's been out of the bag for some time now. War has been declared on our faith and our freedoms. How will we respond?
There is only one right thing to do (along with voting for righteous representatives): We must practice our faith more boldly, more fervently, more publicly. We will not be ashamed of the gospel.