The Cultural Left Bares Its Teeth: An Open Threat to Churches and Christians Who Hold to Biblical Conviction

It is clear that the Democratic Party now marches to the tune of the LGBTQ movement.

Lemon asked O’Rourke, “This is from your LGBTQ plan, this is what you wrote: “Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate.” Lemon then pressed the question: “Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?”

 

A moral, political, and cultural earthquake tremored last Thursday night as CNN’s Equality Town Hall featured the leading contenders for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. The rhetoric of the candidates finally bared the teeth of a Democratic Party sold out to the most radical proposals of the LGBTQ movement.

Indeed, a particular exchange between CNN anchor Don Lemon and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke revealed to what extent contenders for the Democratic Nomination will go to deconstruct religious liberty in the name of the newly declared sexual liberties.

Lemon asked O’Rourke, “This is from your LGBTQ plan, this is what you wrote: “Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate.” Lemon then pressed the question: “Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?”

Without skipping a beat or drawing a breath, O’Rourke answered, “Yes.” After that “Yes” came momentous applause from the studio audience. O’Rourke went on to say, “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. So as President, we’re going to make that a priority and we’re going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

O’Rourke’s answer dropped like a neutron bomb on the American political landscape and is indeed the clearest picture of the collision between religious liberty and sexual liberty. The dismantling of religious liberty for the sake of LGBTQ liberty has long been the aim of secularization—but after Thursday night, it is clear that the Democratic Party now marches to the tune of the LGBTQ movement.

Indeed, during the oral arguments for the Obergefell Decision—which legalized same-sex marriage across the country—the then Solicitor General of the United States, Donald Verrilli, said that religious liberty “will be an issue” for Christian colleges or universities who will refuse to alter their sexual ethics and religious convictions.

That “will,” was a future tense. After Thursday night, we are now speaking in the present tense. O’Rourke positioned himself, to the sound of thunderous applause, as a threat to religious liberty. He openly declared that he will strip religious organizations, even churches, of their tax-exempt status if they refuse to adopt his secular orthodoxy.

While O’Rourke was the only candidate who used such explicit language, the other candidates offered similar positions, veiled behind more politically acceptable rhetoric. Still, the trajectory of the Democratic Party is such that no potential nominee for President could ever walk back a statement like this, not even a millimeter.

Indeed, shortly after the Town Hall, O’Rourke tweeted a statement, as if proud of his rhetoric. He made it very clear that he did not intend to walk back his statement until 24 hours later, when he said that he did not want to remove tax-exempt status for religious institutions and churches merely for their beliefs—he would, however, deny tax-exemption for discriminatory actions.

The press seemed satisfied with this “clarification.” O’Rourke’s explanation, however, in no way abrogates his brazen rhetoric during the CNN Town Hall. Indeed, the intersection of beliefs and practices is exactly where the battle is being waged for religious freedom. Can Christian institutions, schools, or congregations for that matter, act in accordance with and not contrary to their own theological beliefs?

The battle for religious liberty does not exist in some hypothetical, dystopic future. The collision between religious freedom and the newly declared erotic liberties clashed on prime-time television. Each and every candidate during CNN’s Equality Town Hall, in one way or another, unleashed a full broadside against the most essential quality and virtue of any government or civilization, namely, the freedom of the conscience.

Each candidate for the Democratic Nomination was allowed 30 minutes, and the night’s charade began with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

Booker was asked, “How would you address the, at times, juxtaposing issues of religious freedom and LGBTQ rights?”

Booker responded, “It’s a great question, and thank you very much. Look, this is something I’ve been dealing with all my life… And so, for me, I cannot allow as a leader that people are going to use religion as a justification for discrimination. I can respect your religious freedoms but also protect people fromm discrimination.”

This is the same stance articulated later in the night by Beto O’Rourke, only slightly more veiled behind the idea of “discrimination.” In essence, the New Jersey Senator will champion religious freedom until it actually means anything.

Immediately thereafter, he called for the passage of The Equality Act, which the House of Representatives passed earlier this year. The Act accomplishes exactly what Booker and O’Rourke articulated during the Town Hall—it ends all discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ identity without any adequate provision for religious liberty.

Thus, because each candidate during the Town Hall supports passage of the Equality Act, they effectively support the same argument made by O’Rourke, just without the candor and honesty.

Dana Bash ask Senator Booker, “Do you think that religious education institutions should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose LGBTQ rights?” The Senator responded, “We must stand up as a nation to say that religion cannot be an excuse to deny people health insurance, education and more.” Again, what must be noted is that “education and more,” affirms the stripping of tax-exempt status to any Christian institution that maintains biblical principles and holds fast to its theological conviction.

Then, Booker was pressed with the follow-up question: “So, would they lose their tax-exempt status?” The Senator responded, “Again, I, I will press this issue, and I’m not, I’m not saying, because I know this is a long legal battle, and I’m not dodging your question, I’m saying that fundamentally that discrimination is discrimination.”

If he didn’t dodge the question, he certainly squirmed, not wanting to say out loud the essence of his position, namely, the reduction of religious liberty and all the freedoms protected in this constitutional right. Indeed, for Senator Booker, if religious conviction conflicts with his political stance, then it is dubbed discriminatory.

After Senator Booker, former Vice President Joe Biden took the stage, where he declared, “I suspect… this is going to be one forum where you’re going to get very little disagreement among the Democratic candidates. I’m proud of the position they all have because every one of us, if there are differences, they are just in degree and emotional concern.”

It is difficult to know exactly what the Vice President meant by those words—at the very least, it appears to be a way to catch himself up with the dizzying pace of the left wing of his party, which threatens to leave him behind. Indeed, during his 30 minute segment, the Vice President told a lengthy story of his childhood, aiming to show that he has never harbored discriminatory feelings towards homosexuals because, since his boyhood, he’s supported LGBTQ issues. In other words, he tried to position himself as way ahead of the curve on same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ movement—that he did not have to evolve on these issues like other Democrats.

After the Vice President came Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the only openly gay candidate running for President. Indeed, he is the only candidate married to an individual of the same sex.

Hours before the Town Hall, Buttigieg released an entire platform on LGBTQ issues entitled, “Becoming Whole: A New Era for LGBTQ+ Americans.” At 18-pages long, it includes a laundry list of every goal of the LGBTQ movement, as well as some interesting items like, “Expand the representation of LGBTQ people and history in our national park system.” No one can accuse Mayor Buttigieg of leaving anything out.

During the Town Hall, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked him about religious liberty. Buttigieg stated, “Religious liberty is an important principle in this country, and we honor that. It’s also the case that any freedom that we honor in this country has limits when it comes to harming other people. We say that the right to free speech does not include the right to yell fire in a crowded theater. And the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.”

Harm means any kind of policy or action that could be perceived as discrimination against LGBTQ people. This would include a Christian college requiring its faculty to hold to certain doctrinal convictions as well as requiring faculty and students to live by a certain biblical, moral code.

Moreover, Buttigieg tries to present himself as the new icon of the theological left in the United States. Indeed, theological issues arose during Buttigieg’s time when Anderson Cooper asked him, “Is being gay a sin?” The Mayor responded, “I don’t believe it is. I also get that people reach their own understandings of their own faith. I guess where I try to reach people is that, can we at least agree that whatever faith tradition or commitment they have agrees with mine? That we are called to compassion? That we are called to seek out in one another what is best? And that we are supposed to protect those who are vulnerable?”

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