The purpose of government is to regulate human relationships– society. A good government supports and protects the family as the basic and most important unit of society. An important part of protecting the family is allowing freedom of religion which in turn lends support to families.
A bad government regulates religion and religious expression thereby ridding families of that support. Both removing support from the traditional family and regulating religion gives the government more power over the people.
Charles Donovan (son of James Donovan an OSS officer in the Nazi Army from 1944 to 1945) wrote, “Under the pretext that the churches themselves were interfering in political and state matters, [The Nazis]would deprive the churches, step by step, of all opportunity to affect German public life.” (America the Last Best Hope vol II, Bennett, William J… Nashville, TN. 2007. pg. 214)
The regulation of religious freedom and expression is once again beginning to be set in place by governments all over the Western World. This is occurring mostly as religious teaching about homosexuality conflict with anti-discrimination laws and gay marriage.
Recently, the European Court of Human Rights ruled religious beliefs cannot justify discrimination against same-sex couples. The Court ruled against Lillian Ladele, a public registrar, dismissed for refusing to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples, and Gary McFarlane a counselor who provided psycho-sexual therapy to couples and stated in a work meeting that treating same sex couples was incompatible with his beliefs. Both were fired from their jobs and both have lost law suits against their employers.
In the United States the 6th Circuit Court of appeals ruled that university diversity policies trump the First Amendment’s protections of religious freedom and religious expression. Crystal Dixon was dismissed from her university post after she wrote a personal letter to the editor of a local newspaper objecting to the characterization of homosexuality as being the same as race.
Cases like these are very common and similar outcomes are becoming the norm and even expected to be the norm. During his inauguration address, President Barak Obama declared:
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
This sounds nice—all are equal. For religious people, it isn’t nice. What it means is the religious teaching –in almost every religion– that homosexuality is a sin is discrimination. Therefore, anyone who believes that part of their religion is a bigot. As pro-family blogger Nathan Cherry stated:
There is a concerted effort to solidify religious people seeking to live out their religious convictions as bigots engaging in discrimination. This is why “conscience protections” will fail, because ultimately the state or federal government will decide that equality trumps religion and religious convictions will be defined as discriminatory.
If people seeking to live out their religious convictions are considered bigots engaging in discrimination because of government policies then, like Nazi Germany, governments today will become successful in depriving the churches, step by step, of all opportunity to affect public life. Families will be left with some form of freedom of worship, but no longer freedom of religion.