There are several bills under consideration in California (AB 1779, 2943, 2119) that would prohibit the church from freely ministering to those in same-sex relationships and gender identity issues, who want to seek help as they process these life-altering decisions. These bills would affect mental health professionals, foster care and eventually, local churches. Offering books, conferences, study materials and any form of counseling where money is exchanged for these services would become illegal.
I have a friend who speaks at conferences on the subject of same-sex attraction. He is kind, honest, gifted, and loving. God has given him a voice that should be heard in the national discussion. Those who don’t want to listen to him would have a choice to not attend his meetings. Under the laws currently in consideration, he would be prohibited in California to speak or sell products if any monies were given to him as an honorarium or to help defray his expenses.
When I lived in Berlin, Germany, I studied the history of the nation and learned that a disturbing event took place when Hitler was rising to power. On November 9-10, 1938, the Nazis executed a nationwide pogrom against the Jews. Rights were violated and the property of Jewish families was burned in city streets all across the nation. The shattered glass from the broken windows of Jewish businesses and synagogues littered the streets defining that night as Kristallnacht, “Night of the Broken Glass”. Not only were shards of glass lying in the streets, so were the rights of the German Jewish minority who were conveniently blamed for the problems of the nation.
No matter which side of the issue currently being processed in California that we find ourselves, we are entering dangerous territory as a nation. We should all be concerned. Some are now demanding that all Californians move in a goose-stepping union with their worldview, or suffer the full force of the law to silence their dissent. History is littered with the broken glass from these attempts to control any dissenting voice in culture.
The right to free speech, no matter if you agree with an opinion being contested or not, is a sacred foundation stone of our nation. No one I know wants cruel, demeaning and draconian tactics to be used when speaking with anyone regarding their personal sexuality. These bills are not about preventing such things from happening. Their ultimate goal is to silence the voices of an opposing opinion in matters of human sexuality. Whenever a government uses its power to silence any voice within its populace, we are all in danger of inviting the brutality of a cultural Kristallnacht to visit our nation, one state at a time.
You have options. Pray. Become informed. Act with wisdom and grace and let your voice be heard. If you choose to speak, speak only the truth in love or remain silent. Unbridled frustration, unrighteous anger and unfiltered comments made in the public square will only further divide our nation. Engage those who oppose you, not as enemies, but as people loved by God. In our struggle to become a healthy voice of influence, you and I will need to dig deeper than the issues being addressed to discover the heart and intent of God. Only then will our voice accurately represent the Lord and His Kingdom.