“The storm that will break over America after but a single vote legalizes gay marriage will surely be a moment of decisive social reckoning.” Stanley Kurtz of National Review magazine wrote those words long before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts handed down its infamous decision declaring any prohibition against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. As Kurtz predicted, “As soon as even a single state legalizes same-sex marriage, the nation will be plunged into a furious legal, political, and cultural struggle.”
Now, in the aftermath of the Massachusetts decision, opponents of the homosexual agenda are on the defensive, as social momentum builds towards an eventual acceptance of homosexual marriage and victory for the homosexual activists seems almost inevitable.
Many Christians can only stand back in wonder at the pace of cultural change we have experienced over the last decade. The unthinkable has become the norm in many sectors of our society, and an outright celebration of homosexuality is now the expectation, not only among the cultural elites, but increasingly throughout the society at large.
In The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Liberty Today, Alan Sears and Craig Osten offer invaluable insights into the strategy and success of the homosexual movement. According to Sears and Osten, the moral decline of American culture can be directly traced to the work of activists who have “taken us toward their goal of unbridled sexual behavior and silencing of the church.” The pattern they trace explains not only the success of the homosexual agenda, but the eventual success of those pushing other agendas of radical moral transformation–unless the culture recovers its sanity in a hurry.
Sears and Osten identify the beginning of a cultural revolution as “the community establishment stage.” They explain that activists at this stage begin to coordinate their energies and empower each other to coalesce around a central agenda of activism. In the next phase, “the community organization stage,” the group “now feels empowered and starts to get organized and develop a game plan for legitimizing their behavior in society.” If progress is made, the group then moves to phase 3, “the mobilization stage.” At this point the group develops a common language and strategy, and reframes the issue, “taking it out of the moral realm,” and now claiming their cause as a human rights issue. At this stage, opponents of the agenda are labeled “hateful” or “intolerant” toward those that are merely “different.”
Finally, the movement reaches “the legitimization stage.” As Sears and Osten explain, “Once and issue has been redefined from a moral absolute to an individual choice, society starts to be reprogrammed that the arguments of the group are valid and therefore special privileges for previous ‘injustices’ and for the affirmation of the behavior occur.”
The analysis Sears and Osten present makes sense and brings the issue into clarity. The authors do not mince words: “We are at stage 4 and are at the eleventh hour with regard to homosexual activism and religious freedom. The homosexual activists have the ball on our ten-yard line, and it is first and goal. We can either put up a brave defensive stand, or we can let them cross the goal line unhindered.”
Alan Sears is president, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund. A former federal prosecutor, he served as executive director of Attorney General Edwin Meese’s Commission on Pornography. His experience in Washington and on the front lines of the culture war give him both insight and credibility in dealing with the homosexual crisis. Teamed with Craig Osten, vice president of the ADF, he offers invaluable advice in understanding what we really face as we confront the homosexual agenda.
Others have traced the rise and growing influence of the homosexual activists, but Sears and Osten perform an unique service by directing their attention to the homosexual agenda as a threat to religious liberty. Indeed, religious liberty concerns are the main interest of the Alliance Defense Fund. Their involvement in the battle against the homosexual agenda is tied to their judgment that the legalization and forced acceptance of homosexuality is indeed the principal threat to religious freedom today.
By any measure, that is an audacious claim. Nevertheless, Sears and Osten are undoubtedly correct in their assessment of our challenge. Christianity remains the great obstacle to the final success of the homosexual movement. The silencing of the church must be their ultimate priority.
Clear evidence of this judgment is found in the fact that homosexuality has been added to groups covered by “hate crimes” legislation in much of Europe and now, in Canada. Churches teaching that homosexuality is inherently sinful face harsh sanctions and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Looking to developments in Canada, Brian Rushfeldt of the Canada Family Alliance Coalition warns that hate crime legislation could well declare certain sections of the Bible as “hate literature.” Clergy could face criminal charges if they refuse to perform a marriage of two homosexuals. Parents who want their children to “opt out” of classes that promote homosexual behavior could also face criminal charges. Educators–even those teaching in Christian schools–could not refuse to teach a pro-homosexual curriculum.
This is no longer a hypothetical argument. The agenda of the homosexual activists is clear. They will not rest until all organized opposition to their behavior and lifestyle is silenced. There can be no question that the Christian church represents the greatest threat to the normalization and celebration of homosexual behavior. Thus, the church and Christian believers must be silenced if the homosexual activists are to have their way.
The coercive tactics employed by the homosexual activists are now well documented. The activists have been putting the heat on corporate America for years, pushing for a full acceptance of sexual orientation as a protected class, demanding domestic-partner benefits, and employing coercive tactics to marginalize or eliminate employees who will not “tow the line” of homosexual acceptance. Under the guise of “diversity training,” employees are subjected to a form of moral brainwashing. As Sears and Osten explain, “Biblical beliefs on homosexual behavior and marriage are openly ridiculed.” Employees are taught to ask, “Are you in a relationship?” rather than “Are you married?” Corporate sponsors in the 2002 “Out and Equal Leadership Summit,” which pushes the corporate gay-rights agenda, included companies like Motorola, Proctor and Gamble, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Boeing, and Verizon.
Congress has come close in recent years to passing the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” [better known as ENDA]. This legislation would add sexual orientation to the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, and will likely be brought up year after year until it is passed. Senator Ted Kennedy, a co-sponsor of ENDA and a federal hate-crimes bill, identified Christian objections to homosexual behavior as “an insidious aspect of American life.” At least we know where we stand with Sen. Kennedy.
Of course, the homosexual agenda directs much of its opposition to the biblical concepts of marriage and family. Demands for same sex marriage are only one dimension of this agenda. A complete transformation of the concept of the family, including child rearing, parental authority, and the right of parents to instruct their children in biblical morality are all under threat. Just before leaving office, California governor Gray Davis signed legislation forcing foster parents in California to teach a pro-homosexual approach to all foster children, effectively removing biblical Christians from opportunities to be foster parents. How long will it be before Christian parents are charged with child abuse for teaching biblical morality to their “defenseless” children.
In any other context, this would be seen for what it is–an Orwellian transformation of our culture with religious liberty sacrificed for the sake of a well organized group of moral revolutionaries. But, in our current day of moral revisionism, all this is packaged as the new moral enlightenment.
Christians who doubt that the homosexual agenda is a genuine threat to religious liberty need only consider employees in major corporations who are judged to be uncooperative and thus terminated or turned down for promotion, because they will not serve on a committee planning a gay awareness day or post a rainbow flag on their cubicle. Just ask parents ready to take foster children into their homes in California, who are denied the opportunity to care for children in need because they will not bend the knee to the homosexual activists. Or, consider those in other nations already facing criminal sanctions and heavy fines simply for preaching or teaching that homosexuality is sinful.
The tragic reality is that the homosexual activists are winning and we are losing. Be forewarned: The homosexual revolution is only a hint of the shape of things to come. If religious liberty means anything, it means the right to teach and practice biblical morality. Once this is forbidden, religious liberty is reduced to ashes. When will America’s Christians smell the smoke?
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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