“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
Today president Obama signed an executive order that could have a prodigious impact on faith organizations that believe the Bible clearly teaches that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. This order changes the language in the 1964 civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on gender and race so that it now includes sexual orientation. You can read the Executive Order here.
The problem is that he did not include in this executive order an exemption for religious or faith based organizations. In other words, a church could potentially be sued for refusing to hire someone who is openly practicing homosexuality could be sued, and in such a case, that church would be on the losing side of the law.
Many believe that churches should stay out of politics, but this serves as an example of why churches should be involved in politics. On a number of occasions I have suggested that it is only a matter of time until a same sex couple demands that a pastor marries them or perhaps it will be a practicing homosexual suing a church because they refuse to hire that person. That day is growing closer all the time.
It should be noted that our government was designed in such a way that presidents cannot simply write or change law. Those powers belong to congress. This executive order is illegal and for that reason alone should be ruled unconstitutional, but it might not be. The harm that is being done to religious liberty is significant and must not be ignored. As a pastor, I am very concerned about what will be deemed illegal in the future and the real possibility that I and other church leaders will be forced into a position where we will have to choose between being obedient to God and being obedient to the government. For me, there is no choice, I will be obedient to God, but I'd really prefer to avoid having to make that choice.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.