Four unconnected events in the past two weeks have given followers of Christ a glimpse through the doorway at what living out their faith in America will look like in a very short time, barring some unforeseen reversals.
Event #1: J.K. Rowling is attacked by the mob.
On June 10th, J.K. Rowling released a 5-point article (here) through her website explaining her reasons for opposing trans-activism and legislation that is rushing forward headlong in western society. Rowling had come under fierce assault by a digital worldwide mob for her tweets supporting several women who questioned the veracity of trans-ideology and lost their jobs because of it.
Rather than cave-in to the mob, Rowling’s article (which is a must-read) calmly explains her sound, scientific and personal reasons for opposing trans activism and the harm that it is causing, especially to women (and to trans-youth themselves.) Meanwhile the mob continues to rage at her, including most of the stars of the “Harry Potter” films based on her books.
Event #2: A mega-church in the Bible-Belt loses its lease in local schools because of its pastor’s culturally-insensitive tweets.
In early June, Church of the Highlands, a 60,000 member church in Birmingham, Alabama, had its lease with two high schools terminated by the local board (here), when a person complained to the board about the pastor’s social media posts favorable to conservative causes.
Though the church was widely known for its health care, mentoring and compassion-services to the community (not to mention $1 million of revenue for the district in its 6-years of renting), the board ruled that the church’s views – as reflected in the pastor’s posts – “do not reflect those of the [Housing Authority] and its residents”.
Event #3: A conservative publication is nearly de-monetized by Google when NBC files secretive complaints against it.
The respected publication The Federalist was censured and nearly de-monetized by Google for allegedly allowing comments in articles about the race protests which violated Google’s policies on racial discourse. The story became even stranger when it was learned that a surreptitious division of NBC News actually reported the “violations” to Google. Then when Google acted, NBC broke the story which it had generated. Monetization is the primary way online publications generate revenue for its company, so the power that Google wields (along with the other social media behemoths, Facebook and Twitter) cannot be exaggerated.
The incident with The Federalist is just the most recent in a long list of social media activism against conservative and Christians voices.
Event #4: The Supreme Courts rules 6-3 that the 1964 Civil Rights Act includes sexual orientation and sexual identity in its protections.
But the Mount Everest of all these events came last Monday as the Supreme Court ruled that the provision in Title VII, the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, also includes sexual orientation and sexual identity.
What’s stunning is that Neil Gorsuch, appointed by President Trump, voted for the majority (along with John Roberts) and wrote the majority opinion. (So much for the argument that a vote for Trump is necessary to preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court.)
Though this case was scarcely on anyone’s radars, the impact of this ruling will have far greater, and graver, consequences for followers of Christ (and all those whom J.K. Rowling is concerned for) than even Roe v. Wade had. Which we’ll pick up next time.
Bear Clifton, writer and screenwriter, is the pastor of BridgeWay Community Church in California, Maryland. His blogs, screenplays and devotionals can be enjoyed at his ministry website: trainyourselfministry.com and his writing website: blclifton.com. Bear is also the author of “Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40 Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness”, “Ben-Hur: The Odyssey”, “A Sparrow Could Fall”, and his latest – “Living Under The Cross”, a collection of essays on the Beatitudes – all available through Amazon.