Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Salem Mass. Evicts Christian College
Salem, Massachusetts has terminated its relationship and contract with Gordon College---a Christian College, over the institution's belief about homosexuality.
The Mayor of Salem has announced that the city's contract with Gordon for usage of the historic Old Town Hall has been immediately terminated.
There is some irony in this witch hunt to evict Christians from the public square in Salem, Massachusetts of all places.
The college had a reciprocal arrangement where they provided management of the facility in exchange for using it for educational programs connected to Gordon College, as well as curation experiences for history majors at Gordon.
Why did the city take such sudden and decisive action?
Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll says the city has issue with the college's "behavioral standards" policy, which specifically forbids "homosexual behavior" for students and faculty.
The city has been in a business relationship with the college since 2008. Didn't they know what the college stood for when they entered into the agreement 6 years ago?
Of course they did.
Recently, others outside city government have objected to the city being involved in any way because the college "hates gays" they say.
Not true. The college loves God and His Word and is teaching it and trying, as an institution, to live according to it.
Two factors seem to motivate entities like this city or public schools across the nation in similar circumstances.
1. They are so frightened by a small, but vocal, bullying minority who threaten a lawsuit that in fear of the suit they can't afford, they default to "killing the Christians" figuratively speaking.
2. There are those who have gotten themselves into power who hold anger toward the Bible and Christianity or conservatism in general and use their position to seek to destroy both.
Salem's knee jerk reaction was to get rid of the Christians.
But isn't the city discriminating against the college's religious freedom?
Mayor Driscoll says "not at all."
She says, "The city's action...cannot be construed as discrimination against a viewpoint."
"Rather," she says, "the city terminated the contract because Gordon's behavioral standards code conflicted with our fully LGBT inclusive non-discrimination ordinance."
But churches rent space from both public schools and government facilities, how is this different when some of the churches also believe in biblical teaching on homosexual behavior?
Here's the classic statement from the mayor:
"It's not discriminating to reject discrimination."
The obvious question is who is discriminating?
Interestingly the city's policy was adopted only a couple of months ago.
Rick Sweeny, a vice president at Gordon College, says they probably will not sue but focus on moving forward.
Who is discriminating is the big question?
The city of Salem's new policy is, in its intent, closely aligned with the demands of the homosexual activists who have been demanding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) be crammed through Congress by President Obama---their closest ally in US presidential history.
The Senate has passed ENDA, but added a "religious exemption" before doing so. The bill is now with the House of Representatives.
The House, with a Republican majority, has shown no interest in even discussing it.
We the Senate carved out a religious exemption in ENDA to protect people of faith from this war on religion---specifically Christianity, those demanding it started losing interest.
With the exemption and the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case, the homosexual activists are withdrawing their support for ENDA.
Several homosexual organizations and their allies have put out a press release announcing their withdrawal from support of ENDA.
Apparently their primary interest was not so called "equality" or "non-discrimination" so much as it was an attempt to silence and remove, where possible, the Christian presence and influence in our culture.
And to normalize a behavior that the Bible clearly teaches is sin and unnatural.
President Obama has been telling the American public he is going to force ENDA down the throat of the citizens in the name of anti-discrimination, using "executive order."
However, in the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling and now the withdrawal of these vocal, anti-Christian groups, it will be interesting to see if he attempts to move forward anyway.
The New York Times, in an editorial last fall, defined how the far left secular progressives really feel about religious freedom.
When they strongly supported ENDA and its inherent narrative, they said the only flaw in the ENDA bill was the religious exemption.
In their mind, allowing people to freely live out their faith and belief in public is a legal flaw.
They said the "exemption would give a stamp of legitimacy to the very sort of discrimination the act was meant to end."
The Times wrote that those senators who demanded the exemption "are still mired in intolerant thinking and too scared of Tea Party reactionaries to do the right thing."
In this battle for the soul of America---religious freedom, every clear thinking person must ask themselves who is intolerant?
And the larger question: How important is religious freedom?
Religious freedom is not a flaw---it is the strength of this country and culture.
Governments that respect religious freedom and liberty seem to also respect other human rights as well.
All our freedoms are linked to religious freedom.
Religious freedom is strongly related to political liberty, economic freedom, and prosperity.
There is an all out attempt by this administration to relegate religion to one's private life to be spoken of only in a local church building at designated times
And there is an all out attempt to prevent religious institutions from conducting their business according to their beliefs.
Religious freedom---public and private expression, is the birthright of all people in that we were created in the image and likeness of God.
Religious freedom is the birthright of America. Our nation was founded on that premise. We have not seen that freedom assaulted, bullied and attacked as we are seeing now.
Stand firm. I believe the tide is beginning to turn. American people, for the most part are good and decent people. And many have had enough from the secular progressive far left.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.