The Story: “US Army Defines Christian Ministry as ‘Domestic Hate Group'” by Todd Starnes at FoxNews.com.
The Lead: “The soldier said a chaplain interrupted the briefing and challenged the instructor’s assertion that AFA is a hate group.
“’The instructor said AFA could be considered a hate group because they don’t like gays,’ the soldier told me. “The slide was talking about how AFA refers to gays as sinners and heathens and derogatory terms.’”
. . .
“Later in the briefing, the soldiers were reportedly told that they could face punishment for participating in organizations that are considered hate groups.”
Why it Matters: When the decision to apply a punishment to a soldier – or any American – rests on whether or not a government actor unilaterally believes one person likes or dislikes another, we have very serious problems at stake for religious liberty. Law governs unjustly when it seeks to coerce anyone into liking – or disliking – someone or something. Law is supposed to govern action, not feeling.
Yes, religious liberty is plainly at stake here, but note the grounds giving rise to the confrontation of religious liberty: “sinners and heathens” and whether certain gender-flattening activities or lifestyles fit within them. In other words, if you agree with the prevailing culture, then you “like” what it likes and you are fine. But, if you hold to the faithful teachings of Scripture, you “dislike” homosexuality (or any non-traditional sexual ethic) and are subject to discipline, charges of bigotry, and generally ostracized by an otherwise tolerant and enlightened society.
Sure, for now, this is sensitivity training in the military and may apply only to a small percentage of military personnel. How soon, however, does what is being advanced in the military spill over into civilian life – into your place of work, into your ministry, into your church?
Pray for – and defend – those who defend us.
You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.