STAND ON SACRED GROUND
There is a gathering storm intensifying over America in the form of a radical, sexual stratagem, which is victoriously marching against traditional moral values and standards. This storm is now blowing over the borders of Utah. Simultaneously the sexual stratagem is marshaling its forces against rights of religion and religious conscience across the nation—God-given, sacred rights memorialized in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Utah at a Crossroads
In the last General Session of the Utah Legislature, during the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee meeting, a majority of the committee voted in favor of SB262—anti-discrimination legislation providing special rights in housing and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a member of the committee, I voted against the legislation because I believe that homosexual activity is immoral. In an effort to be forthright, I admitted that my belief was in fact discriminating and that discrimination was the reason I could not vote for the legislation.
Every law discriminates against someone or something. When society, through its government, identifies something to be immoral, it is by definition discriminating against that thing, act, or behavior by setting it apart as harmful to society. To date, Utah’s government has held homosexual activity to be immoral.
In the past, when Utah held something to be immoral, the government has taken one of three actions: it does nothing at all, sanctions it with little or no enforcement, or punishes it. But the Utah Legislature has never supported something immoral with special protections, until a majority of the Senate Economic Development and Work Force Services Committee voted in favor of SB262.
Immediately following the vote of the committee, the homosexual community celebrated the favorable vote as a historic victory in advancing societal support of homosexuality. It praised the majority of the committee for supporting legislation extending special rights to them. Certainly, the vote of my colleagues on the committee was historic, but it was more than that, it brought Utah to a crossroads.
The crossroads Utah is now facing is whether the state government will continue to hold that homosexual activity is immoral. If it holds, then the Legislature should reject any legislation that supports societal acceptance of homosexual activity, including and especially granting special rights for protection.
When one scrapes away all of the rhetoric for and against SB262, remaining is the fundamental question: “Is homosexual activity immoral?” All pertinent public policy should flow from the answer to this question, including policies for special rights for protection, rights of adoption, and rights of same-sex marriage. Any effort to circumscribe the question and answer from applying to all pertinent public policy is self-serving and circumvents a principled approach that should be associated with lawmaking and setting standards for society.
The Sexual Stratagem
Over fifty-years ago, the sexual stratagem commenced a conflict with religion and the family to redefine what was once known to be moral, making it irrelevant, and what was known to be immoral, making it acceptable. Since then, it has repeatedly triumphed over religion and the family in battles defining morality in America. It has nearly broken the family, and religion’s cumulative losses have meant that which was once unacceptable sexual behavior has become the “new normal.” Now, when religion expresses opposition to the new normal, it is attacked until it retreats from the public square, and sadly much of religion has readily retreated.
The sexual stratagem split faith groups from within and pitted faith traditions against each other through battles over sexual norms. These intra- and inter-religious battles weakened many religions, resulting in their eventual capitulation. In the aftermath, many of the so-called mainline religions were relegated to the sideline, left saluting the sexual stratagem. They have adopted its propaganda as their new doctrine, causing the desertion of many of their members who refuse to be collaborators against their traditional faith and moral standards.
Just as cunningly, the sexual stratagem captured one of the two major political parties compelling it to battle against the other over sexual norms, while simultaneously infiltrating and subverting the remaining major political party. The sabotage of the political parties forced the realignment of those religions left defending traditional morality, reducing their political alliances with only the most morally vigilant.
Because each new generation of lawmakers and judges adapts to the moral environment it inherits, usually succumbing further to the sexual stratagem, the legislative and judicial successors through time often cannot see the corrosive effects of the continual compromising of moral laws. While some may be well meaning, their misplaced tolerance is often responsible for the immorality in our society.
To compensate for the inevitable destructive results of humanity’s short-term vision, religion stands on sacred ground as a guardian over timeless, moral laws. As long as religion is true to its mission by defending these moral laws, then it will remain relevant and can help guide society on a secure course through the generations of time.
Compassion for Persons not Powers
During a recent rally in support of traditional marriage organized at the Utah State Capitol, a proponent of same-sex marriage held a sign in protest that read: “Close your bibles and open your hearts.” This statement highlights the tension between religion protecting moral standards in society and those seeking tolerance and compassion for activities that heretofore were considered immoral.
Certainly, all of us should be compassionate in our personal interaction with others, especially with those who are different from us. Even more, we should nurse the wounds of those injured. I am personally resolute about this. We have an obligation to succor those who suffer, and demonstrate “malice toward none and charity for all.”
Indeed, as the Apostle Paul declared: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Our battle then is not against the sexual orientation of individuals; it is against corrupt principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness. Therefore, if a moral society is to be preserved, we must organize and petition all branches of government and other leaders and rulers to protect the moral wellbeing of the many. To do otherwise will ultimately harm many more than would be helped. What good is tolerance for the few if the whole of society is scuttled?
For example, because immorality has been tolerated, we now have the highest divorce rates ever, with vast numbers of children being victimized because of it; 41% of American children are born out of wedlock and its even worse among Black children at 72% and among Hispanic children at 53%; millions of babies have been aborted; generations of children are swallowed up by poverty and welfare dependency with all of its consequences; and our prisons are overflowing. If this is not shocking enough, just wait, we have yet to experience the full consequences of our morally compromised society—compromised in the name of toleration.
The judicial, tainted tolerance of our generation increasingly assails attempts to uphold moral standards in the law, wherein it has repeatedly ruled that such attempts are expressions of “animus” against individuals or classes of individuals. In other words, the judiciary has accused policymakers trying to preserve morality in the law as being hostile towards others and therefore acting in an unconstitutional manner; ((Romer v. Evans (1996), Lawerence v. Texas (2003), United States v. Windsor (2013)).
In contrast to this generation, the Founding Fathers, who established the Constitutional authority for the judiciary, often declared the importance of morality in the law as necessary for a free republic to endure through the ages.
In addition, they proclaimed that the free exercise of religion was essential to the promulgation of the morality needed to undergird the republic. Thus, they presciently added the First Amendment to the Constitution, declaring religion’s fundamental and foundational rights and freedoms. In so doing, they fully anticipated that religion and people of religious conscience would use these rights and freedoms to fulfill an important role in securing the future of the Republic by advancing morality in society. They expected succeeding generations to honor the God-given religious rights and freedoms they memorialized in the Constitution for that purpose.
For example, Benjamin Franklin declared, “Laws without morals are in vain.”
George Washington pronounced in his farewell address in 1796 that: “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”
John Adams proclaimed, “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.” He further stated: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The Battle over “First Rights”
Warring against the Founding Father’s clear intent, the sexual stratagem is now conspiring to supplant the “First Rights,” secured by the Founders to protect your religion and religious conscience, with new, so-called “sexual civil rights.” Proscriptive propaganda is being disseminated to persuade you that your religious rights exercised outside of faith sanctuaries should be neutralized and when confronted by the new sexual civil rights, religious rights should be subordinated in American society.
Today, there are numerous court cases being adjudicated to determine whether religion, its affiliated organizations and people of religious conscience will be forced to choose between their educational, medical, charitable and businesses activities and their freedom of religion and conscience.
Is this your America—an America where you have to choose between your livelihood and your religious conscience? Does it seem right or fair that you should have to give up your religious rights and freedoms for someone else’s sexual activities? Well, the sexual stratagem is trying to make sure that you do.
To reinforce its attacks on religious liberties, the sexual stratagem is recruiting and conscripting officials at every level of government, political parties, business, media and religion. Assembled together with new conscripts, the sexual stratagem is now arrayed to assault the “Founding Freedoms” of religion and religious conscience.
The sexual stratagem demands that religion and those of religious conscience forsake their scriptures, surrender their own constitutional rights and retreat from the public square. Religion my appease the sexual stratagem, as it has too often in the past, or it can fight for faith, family and freedom, securing the moral wellbeing of society as expected by the Founders when they drafted the First Amendment. What religion chooses to do will in large measure determine whether our Republic can long endure.
At the time when the Republic was the most vulnerable, Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Since the sexual stratagem earlier incapacitated much of religion and its political alliances, and now is reinforced with new recruits and conscripts, religion is vulnerable to attacks upon its most critical, survival interest—religious liberty. Its only hope is for those in support of faith, family and freedom to become allies in sacrifice for the freedom of religion and religious conscience. Freedom of religion and conscience has never been free. It always has and always will require a united sacrifice.
The Founding Fathers called Americans together in sacrifice to forge a nation with the faith and freedom necessary to inaugurate the greatest republic ever. Patriots rallied for revolutionary principles, including that a republic cannot endure unless it is built upon the foundation of a virtuous society, which cannot exist without the faith of a religiously free people.
George Washington declared: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.”
Our Founders were well aware that earlier republics failed because of lost virtue and so proclaimed. It is no surprise then, that Benjamin Franklin, when asked what kind of government had been established for America, responded by saying: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Protecting Faith, Family and Freedom
Today, people of faith, family and freedom are needed again to help “keep” our Republic by defending our religious liberties. Absent that defense, those liberties will be lost. And, as John Adams warned: “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever!” And let me add that liberties once lost can only be regained through revolution.
George Washington reported to the New York, Reformed German Congregation in 1783 that: “The establishment of civil and religious liberty was the motive which induced me to the field; the object is attained, and it now remains to be my earnest wish and prayer, that the citizens of the United States would make a wise and virtuous use of the blessings, placed before them.”
Ladies and gentlemen, do not allow the loss of religious liberty to be the inevitable inheritance you pass onto the children of your children and their children because you would not sacrifice for their freedoms of religion and religious conscience—freedoms necessary for them to secure a virtuous, free and enduring republic.
Now is the time to join those vigilant few standing on sacred ground, safeguarding the greatest Republic on earth. Now is the time to stand against the sexual stratagem’s self-indulging cry for tolerance, strategized to scrap moral laws advanced through time to preserve our society. Now is the time to stand against same-sex marriage, determined to degrade the inviolability of traditional marriage and the family. And most urgently, now is the time to stand against sexual civil rights, conspiring to consume rights of religion and conscience.
I urge you to join those standing on sacred ground—made sacred by the consecrating blood spilt by our forbearers, who fought and died to secure a land of liberty—a land hallowed by their sacrifice. Be counted among those so dedicated, offering up your time, talents and treasure.
Come up and stand on sacred ground and don’t look back. And then in the course of time, it will be known, “peradventure,” how many are morally vigilant in Utah, as was long ago accounted for under similar conditions in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Prepared by Stuart C. Reid, November 5, 2013