People within the conservative movement often make the mistake of believing that the progressive left hates Christianity. That’s simply not true. They love Christianity—the watered-down, cherry-picking, world-loving variety of Christianity, that is.
Any theologically and socially conservative branches of the Body of Christ, however, are just a few legislative sessions away from being deemed enemies of the state.
Greg Burt, the California Family Council’s Director of Capitol Engagement, recently sent out an email warning of the left’s sinister agenda to silence churches was made perfectly plain: by banning so-called “conversion therapy” for unwanted homosexuality and gender confusion, the left will achieve that goal with ease.
Burt pointed primarily to California’s ACR99 resolution, which calls upon “all Californians to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance, upon religious leaders to counsel on LGBTQ matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy, and upon the people of California and the institutions of California with great moral influence to model equitable treatment of all people of the state.”
The new law, which was enrolled on September 12 and awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, effectively ends any biblically-based pastoral counsel, forces pastors and Christian counselors to contradict their beliefs and affirm what God clearly abhors while simultaneously vilifying non-affirming believers and ascribing the untimely deaths of LGBT people to them.
In an excerpt of the floor debate prior to passing ACR99, legislators broadly defined any non-affirming biblical counseling as “dangerous” and “torture:”
As Burt explains, however, California is just the tip of the iceberg:
I think this resolution(ACR 99) is part of a national trend and worth an article and attention from your organization. I believe LGBT activists seek to stop the preaching of the gospel to those with LGBT identities. To do this they can’t go after the gospel directly, Instead they seek government bans on “conversion therapy” to protect the “psychological health and safety” of people. Their definitions of conversion therapy are so broad that they include the message of the gospel itself. As a result, you see these bans affecting not just professional counselors, but pastoral counseling and teaching as well. That is what ACR 99 was about.
This agenda isn’t confined to California, Burt points out.
The New York City Council is moving forward with a controversial move to strategically repeal its ban on conversion therapy “to avoid fallout” from a pending lawsuit from Alliance Defending Freedom. According to their rationale, repealing their conversion therapy ban now could help prevent a potentially devastating Supreme Court case later.
New York Daily News reports:
Mathew Shurka of Born Perfect, which fights conversion therapy, said the city’s law was a “unicorn” that isn’t necessary anymore given the state ban. Repealing the measure allows him and other advocates to focus less on defending the law in court and more on expanding protections against conversion therapy in other states.
“Our goal is to minimize the lawsuits and focus on the laws,” said Shurka, who was sent to orientation conversion therapy after coming out as gay when he was 16. “If we felt uncertainty about the state law we wouldn’t push for this.”
Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Richmond City Council unanimously endorsed a nonbinding resolution banning conversion therapy within city limits.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, three state boards that regulate mental health professionals banned conversion therapy in Virginia earlier this year, but it remains legal for anyone in Virginia not subject to those boards, such as pastors. Although conversion therapy bans have failed in the Virginia General Assembly in recent years, the state’s continual leftward shift virtually guarantees more attempts on the horizon.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration is calling on all provincial and municipal governments to prohibit conversion therapy while also working toward a federal ban by revising the federal criminal code.
Conversion therapy is currently illegal in Alberta, and the province’s Justice Minister, Doug Schweitzer, reported that he is “open to a federal ban on conversion therapy, which he condemns as harmful and coercive,” according to The Globe And Mail.
In Victoria, Australia, a report from the Victorian Healthcare Complaints Commission that found the therapy “causes severe mental trauma” will likely lead to an upcoming ban.
“You’re actually criminalizing a significant part of the Christian faith,” said Martyn Iles, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby in an interview with 60 Minutes. “That’s hugely concerning for the Christian community.”
It is an incredibly slippery slope that lies between banning voluntary biblical counseling and banning any formal expression of this traditional tenet of the Christian life.
“Ultimately they want the Christian message of repentance and forgiveness in Christ to be labeled as dangerous to someone psychological heath,” Burt concludes. “We must resist and use it as an opportunity to boldly preach the gospel.”
Amen!! We must not be silent!
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