Bill Lockwood: Is Freedom Disappearing in America?
Is Freedom Disappearing in America?- “The government will create ‘zones of exemption’ for a time which presumably will include churches.”
by Bill Lockwood
The issue is freedom. It always has been. The two-world views, a God-centered Christian worldview and the socialist/communist worldview, have always clashed in America, but now that the latter has the upper hand, freedom is on the chopping block. An absolutely perfect example of this is now occurring in the state of Iowa. The Iowa Civil Rights Act has banned places of “public accommodation” from expressing their views regarding “human sexuality” if those places either “directly or indirectly” make persons of any gender “feel unwelcome.”
Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act places of “public accommodation” are forbidden by the federal government to “discriminate” against persons of any class—be it race, color, national origin or religion. Along with this the federal government empowered itself to investigate alleged violations and prosecute.
The misstep here was to reverse what the founders had intended for a limited government. As right as it may be to eliminate discrimination based upon race, the very reason that the framers of America left the oversight for this in the hands of the states and local municipalities and forbade it to the federal government was a matter of principle. Freedom has historically been enjoyed only under limited federal government.
Our second misstep has been and continues to be the refusal of the American people—even Christians—to oppose homosexuality. This in spite of the fact that the Bible demonstrably shows that sodomy is a sin, and therefore a choice that people make. Our culture has by default placed homosexuality in the same category as race. Therefore, the same laws will apply. Now comes Obama to cram “transgenderism” into the same folder. Compliant weak-spined states meekly comply.
For example, the Iowa Civil Rights commission recently explained in a brochure that refusing to use the correct pronoun in addressing transgender individuals is a form of harassment. God’s grant of freedom of speech be hanged. Discrimination is defined by that Commission as “publicizing that the patronage of persons of any particular sexual orientation or gender identity is unwelcome, objectionable, not acceptable or not solicited.” The standard is: do not to make others feel unwelcome.
Now comes the third misstep, which naturally follows from the first two. The government decides what is a legitimate or illegitimate usage of speech; in what places or zones it may occur; who might be exempt and under what conditions. The Des Moines Register reports that Kristin Johnson, director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, assured churches that the “state code provides some exemptions for bona fide religious institutions engaged in activities with a bona fide religious purpose.”
The problem with this, as everyone who has not had their thinking by-passed by liberalism can see: this places the state in charge of deciding what is and what is not a legitimate religious institution. And remember, we are not talking about human or animal sacrifice or killing, which violates basic natural law codes.
The government will create “zones of exemption” for a time which presumably will include churches. I write, “for a time,” since it is already being discussed in some circles what constitutes a “legitimate” sermon or Bible lesson and what does not. Maura Strassberg, Drake University law professor said that “sermons that stick to human sexuality matters pertaining to theology would be constitutionally protected.” But according to the Des Moines Register she suggested that sometimes a situation may occur where a preacher’s sermonic material “crossed the line” into harassment. “There is a line: You go from ‘this is what God believes’ … to ‘You are bad, so we don’t want you here.’”
This would amount to the the state deciding what is and what is not proper sermon etiquette and content. Freedom is fast disappearing in America. Time to retrace our steps.