The Democratic Party formally came out of the closet last month at the CNN LGBTQ Town Hall. They made it clear that they have chosen their side in the culture war and when it comes to the present state of LGBT activism, it will be a presidential issue, front and center.
That meeting is where Sen. Elizabeth Warren fielded a question about traditional marriage with a sneering, smug insinuation that the only people who would ask her that type of question were men who can’t find a woman. Sen. Cory Booker quoted the Bible to try to explain why it was wrong for a Catholic school to forbid the formation of LGBTQ+ groups at their school. Mayor Pete Buttigieg declared that although we do have religious freedoms they stop when they harm others (LGBT people). Former Vice President Biden called for passage of the Democrats’ Equality Act which among other things teaches children at an inappropriately young age to accept same-sex couples and transgenders.
But, the most offensive statement of the evening came when host Don Lemon asked Beto O’Rourke, “Do you think that religious institutions like colleges, churches, and charities should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?”
O’Rourke replied, “Yes. There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights, and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we’re going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”
In an interview with CBN News, evangelist Franklin Graham stood firm against O’Rourke’s views.”I think the left has made it very clear that they stand against the church,” Graham said. “Unless we bow down and accept their LGBTQ agenda, then they’ll take our tax exempt status, and at their meeting everybody in the room cheered and clapped when O’Rouke said that. And of course the other candidates clapped and cheered as well. And that just shows you where their heart is and where they’re going to go.”
For decades, churches and other non-profit groups have been tax-exempt under the IRS code, and for a good reason. They have always been viewed as major contributors to the common good, playing a unique role that the government and for-profit enterprises never could. Many times they are the first to respond when a disaster strikes and often the last to leave. The influence of the moral teachings of the church was reasoned by our founding fathers to be essential to self-government – a requisite virtue for sustaining a free people. John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” To eliminate the tax exempt status would bankrupt many churches and religious institutions or at the very least severely hinder their ability to help people in need.
This is not a matter of live and let live, of civil and respectful disagreement. This debate is not about “equal rights” or “tolerance” or anything like that. It is about one side winning and the other side losing. And in this case the winners want to crush the losers.
This is not a surprise, in some ways. After all, same-sex marriage was only legalized across the US in 2015 and already we’ve got bakers, photographers, and other professionals being driven out of business, LGBTQ education being installed in schools all across the country, drag queens reading stories to children in public libraries, and transgender 9-year-olds showing up on CNN to wild applause and the warm support of the left.
The end game of the activists is clear: the Church must be silenced. So we cannot afford to be sideline spectators. Neutrality is not an option. So don’t blame Christians for this fight. Blame the progressives who are pushing this radical agenda on us. All we’re seeking to do is hold our ground. But the goal posts seem to keep moving.
Ironically, O’Rourke has become the Progressives truth-teller. They assure the public that they only wish to pursue reasonable policies, and would never attempt to infringe on basic rights. And then, with arms flailing, Beto shows up: What do you mean? Of course we’re going to take your guns, cripple your churches, and radically reduce your religious freedoms overnight!
O’Rouke’s and his cohort’s comments may quickly fall out of the national news cycle, but they won’t be forgotten by churches, religious organizations and religious voters. The left keeps forgetting that at election time they will need some of us Bible believing ‘deplorables,’ and that insulting us and coming off as rainbow pharisees is not going to help their chances in 2020.