When the city council of my hometown pushed through their own version of the now-prevalent LGBT non-discrimination statutes aimed at denying businesses the ability to maintain moral behavior standards for employees that uphold biblical views of sexuality, I was one of many in my community that attended the meeting to ask questions.
Specifically, I wanted to know why the statute exempted churches. So I asked.
"Your bill includes an exception for churches, ostensibly because you view the minister's right to his Christian conscience as too precious to allow someone else to demand he violate it. Why is that true for the Christian minister, but not for the Christian photographer, the Christian musician, the Christian florist? What makes the Christian minister's conscience more valuable than theirs?"
The council had decided not to engage anyone objecting to the policy, so I thanked them for their time and asked in parting:
"Many of us are just curious why, if you are so content to willingly and knowingly infringe upon the rights of the latter, why should we have any confidence you won't soon be willing to do the same to the former? What's the distinction?"
My questions didn't provoke a single change of heart on the council, but I'm fairly confident I elicited some eyerolls.
Time and again, when Christians engaged the public square and asked these kinds of questions, when we publicly observed that sexual revolutionaries had launched an assault, intentional or not, on the seminal rights of religious conscience, we were scorned and our warnings dismissed.
"This isn't about telling you what to believe," public intellectuals assured, "it's about equal rights."
Call me crazy, but doesn't this sound a lot like telling Christians what they can believe, and actually denying equal rights to those who won't obey:
"Because everyone loves an underdog, Oral Roberts has become a fan favorite as people take their improbable [NCAA basketball tourney] run to heart and celebrate the tiny, evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And yet…the university's deeply bigoted anti-LGBTQ+ policies can't and shouldn't be ignored."
That opening excerpt from Hemal Jhaveri's USA Today piece that excoriated a small Christian school for being Christian, offered just a whiff of the stink to come – an opus of unhinged, anti-Christian bigotry. Jhaveri proves that she is eating willfully of the bitter fruits that germinated years ago in the LGBT political crusade, and have been faithfully fostered and cultivated by a godless culture. She wrote:
"As a private university and under the banner of fundamentalist Christian beliefs, the school is free to impose whatever standards of behavior they see fit, even if those standards are wildly out of line with modern society and the basic values of human decency. Now, as Oral Roberts gains national attention, the focus shouldn't just be on their very good men's basketball team, but on their prejudiced teachings and moral regressiveness."
Notice the new twist on "we're not telling you what to believe" that Jhaveri offers with a simple sleight of hand. The Christian school can continue to teach whatever they want, of course. But if they do, she explains just sentences later what it should cost them:
"The fact is, any and all anti-LGBTQ+ language in any school's policies should ban them from NCAA competition."
For the uninitiated, "anti-LGBTQ+" in modern parlance = orthodox Christian views.
In other words, you can still believe what you want to believe, Christians, but you will face persecution for doing so. This feels like the moment that those of us who have been saying this is coming should take a vindicated bow, expressing our gratitude that those who hate us feel culturally empowered to the point that they no longer even try to hide the endgame.
But what's even most astounding in Jhaveri's article may be the galling lack of self-awareness. Count the moral judgments she makes in the space of just two sentences above. Apparently when Oral Roberts makes moral declarations they are bigoted and discriminatory, but the ones that pepper her own article are pure and noble. I'm curious who made that rule?
In rendering her own judgment, Jhaveri appeals to "modern society's values" as the standard by which she condemns the Christian institution. But in what moral universe is the fickleness of pop culture a reasonable foundation for ethical clarity?
And has it dawned on Jhaveri that within a few years, the values she espouses today will be regarded as outdated and archaic? That the overwhelming majority of our posterity who, like her, gauge right and wrong on the basis of modern society's ever-evolving values will view her just as "morally regressive" as she now views Oral Roberts?
The truth is that God has set forth moral boundaries that the wise among us will humble themselves enough to heed. But fools will always pretend there's a better, more enlightened, more evolved, more progressive way. And, as Hemal Jhaveri demonstrates, they will preach it with all the zeal and hellfire judgmentalism of the "fundamentalists" they impugn.