Believers in traditional marriage and biblical guidelines on sexuality are worried about the erosion of religious freedom because of a new threat they now are facing in the state of Indiana.
One hundred fifty businesses have joined forces to lobby the state for a law guaranteeing LGBT workers new protections.
“Indiana Competes” claims it wants “legislation that guarantees all individuals receive fair treatment in the workplace, in housing, and in businesses and government services throughout the state of Indiana.”
However, pro-family activists say changes to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that were forced through in April after intensive lobbying by pro-homosexual activists already prohibit small business owners from using religious beliefs as a way to avoid providing services to a homosexual wedding or similar event.
New legislation, pro-family advocates fear, would simply provide more tools for those looking to persecute those who believe in traditional morality.
Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana told the Indianapolis Star the push for new legislation was “divisive” and played into a “false narrative” about supposed discrimination against LGBT workers.
Clark explained those who really are under attack are Christian business owners, “who are being fined and discriminated against.”
Pastor Carl Gallups of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church, a talk show host and author of several books including “Be Thou Prepared: Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble,” said he is not surprised at how homosexual rights campaigners are continuing to push for more, and more, and more. He warns Christians who think there will ever be an “end” to the “gay” rights movement they are fooling themselves.
“This is no huge surprise, especially to those of us who have long warned against the rise of the radical activist homosexual agenda,” Gallups said. “These kinds of LGBT initiatives are gaining more ground every day. The advances have been particularly accelerated and emboldened by the June 2015 unconstitutional and illegal Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage) ruling.”
Gallups argues the nature of the homosexual rights movement means Christians will never be allowed to exist in peace.
“Listening to the gay activists themselves, and reading their constant barrage of material for many years now, we have understood their plans from the beginning; they desire to thoroughly indoctrinate all of America into their biologically and historically aberrant lifestyle choice,” Gallups stated. “And of course, this indoctrination will ultimately lead to further targeting and even out-and-out persecution of those who hold to biblical values and historically traditional definitions of family, marriage, womanhood, manhood, and childhood.”
In fact, says Gallups, the persecution has already begun. He cited cases such as Houston Mayor Anise Parker threatening pastors and the imprisonment of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk, but also recalled the famous case of Memories Pizza in Indiana.
The Christian family owned pizzeria was briefly forced to close when homosexual activists threatened the business after the owners said they would decline to cater a same-sex wedding. Supporters nationwide helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Memories Pizza to reopen.
Gallups said Indiana will soon see many more such cases.
“The kind of laws being proposed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the coalition of Indiana businesses will only serve to ramp up the persecution and targeting,” he said.
Paul Kengor, a historian and the author of “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage,” argues homosexual activists are so militant and dedicated corporate America is simply giving in to fear.
“Sure, some business and political leaders are pro-gay rights and favor redefining marriage, but many are simply afraid,” Kengor told WND. “They’ve witnessed the relentless smear campaigns and bullying that liberals, so called ‘LGBT’ groups, and, of course, the forces of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ impose upon those who disagree, including for religious reasons.”
Kengor explained the Memories Pizza case is so important because the restaurant never actually said it wouldn’t serve homosexuals. The owners simply didn’t want to cater a “gay” wedding.
“The owners had always happily served homosexuals, but they opposed serving a wedding that violated their Christian understanding of marriage,” Kengor said. “For this, the forces of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ refused to tolerate them.”
With such extreme standards required in order to avoid being labeled a “hater,” Kengor believes a climate of fear has descended on Indiana.
“We remember how the forces of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ descended on Gov. Mike Pence and the entire city of Indianapolis over the legislature’s bill attempting to protect the religious freedom of believers,” said Kengor. “Every major event held in Indianapolis was threatened with boycott. I drove through Indianapolis last summer and was stunned to see a gigantic rainbow flag on display. That was like a white flag of surrender by the city begging the forces of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ to not destroy the city’s economy.”
The “Indiana Competes” organization includes many small businesses in Indiana, but also corporate titans such as Anthem, AT&T, PNC Bank, and Roche. Kengor alleges businesses, both large and small, simply don’t want to deal with the trouble of antagonizing the militant “gay rights movement.”
“The formation of this business coalition has to be seen, at least in part, as being driven out of fear,” he said. “People are afraid of the forces of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ and their amazing ability to picket, protest, boycott, bully, harass, shut down, smear, denounce, debase, dehumanize, demonize and destroy those who disagree with them – including religious people.”
Gallups agrees fear is an important factor in the creation of this coalition, but thinks the real answer is more “multifaceted.”
“Some businessmen support this agenda because they are directly involved in gay activism because of their own lifestyle choices or the choices of those that are close to them,” Gallups told WND. “Others do so because it is the new politically expedient and politically correct thing to do – plain and simple. They don’t want to be left out of looking ‘cool’ among their business peers. Additionally, there is always the age-old factor of money and power; it is no secret that the LGBT community has a significant amount of wealth and clout behind it. Corporate America finds it hard to resist and/or stand up to such temptations.”
Gallups says Christians will not be able to back away from the battle over homosexuality without betraying their faith.
“We cannot discount the biblical/spiritual nature of this agenda,” he explained. “The first chapter of Romans explicating declares that once a culture goes down the path of normalizing and celebrating homosexuality, that culture is then given over to a ‘depraved mind.’ That same chapter declares, ‘Professing to be wise, they became fools.’ Many believe we are now watching true wisdom and sanity being sucked out of America at lightning speed as we have purposely turned our collective backs on the clear Word of God.”
And as corporate America aligns with homosexual activists, Gallups urges Christians who believe in traditional marriage to become involved in the political struggle, as well as ministering to those trapped in sin.
“The balanced response to the radical gay agenda from the true Christian community should be that of the contextual scriptural approach; condemn the sin but reach out in the love of Christ to the individuals who are caught up in the cultural lies and degradation,” he said. “But, never doubt, if we are going to abate the continual flood of dissipation at all, we must stay engaged in the culture, we must be the salt and light Jesus called us to be. Opting out is simply not a biblical alternative.”