When Sex & Islam Trump Everything Else!

By Samuel E. Ericsson, Founder & President

 

May 2010,
 
Dear Friend,
 
Some book titles say it all. The title of J.B. Phillip’s classic, Your God Is Too Small!”  sums up the message. You don’t need to read the book. Likewise, Ray Comfort’s Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution spends 221 pages showing that nothing created everything. When I spoke to 400 law students and professors in Sao Paulo, Brazil in March, I offered a $10,000 award to anyone who could prove beyond any doubt that nothing created everything. I’m still waiting for someone to take me up on my offer.
 
The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America by Richard John Neuhaustraces the devastating consequences of secularization on American society where Secularism dominates the public square and people of faith stay out. The secularist wants religion kept private – in the home and under the steeple. And religious people played along. But when you create a societal spiritual vacuum, new values and worldviews will fill the space.
 
THE OLD CHURCH-STATE DEBATE: When the Ericssons moved to the Washington, DC area in 1980 to plant the flag for Christian Legal Society (CLS) and direct its Center for Law & Religious Freedom, the church-state debate was largely between two camps:

  the Strict Separation camp – such as the ACLU – fought to keep any government funds, personnel or property from being used for “religious” purposes. The Accommodation camp – such as CLS – agreed with Justice William O. Douglas’ statement in 1952 that “We are a religious people whose public institutions presuppose the existence of a Supreme Being.”  CLS and others fought for accommodation of religion in the public square, including the rights of religious groups to meet in public schools, public universities, public buildings and that religious views should be heard in the public square.

 
WHEN “RULE OF LAW” DEVOLVES TO “RULE BY SEX”: About 20 years ago, the religious freedom debate took a radical turn in the US and Europe, and later in Africa and Latin America. Gay and lesbian forces (GLF) were no longer simply demanding equality but wanted full acceptance of their lifestyle and to punish those whose religious beliefs did not conform to theirs. Gradually, the Rule of Law devolved to the Rule by Sex where sex began to trump all religious values. For example:
 
  • 17 CLS Law Student Chapters were kicked off campus because CLS has a Statement of Faith that requires leaders to abide by a standard that limits sex to marriage between a man and a woman. No adulterers, fornicators, pornography addicts, gays, lesbians, etc. can serve in leadership. CLS won 16 of 17 cases. The final case CLS v Martinez involves the University of California banning the Student Chapter because of the CLS policy on marriage.   The case was argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on April 19. If Christian groups cannot set their own criteria for leaders, religious freedom will be dealt a major blow.
  • Hyde Park in London has been the pulpit for freedom of speech for centuries. Yet, recently a pastor was arrested for “hate speech” for preaching that homosexuality is a sin.
  • In April, a British Christian counselor lost a court appeal as to his employment termination for refusing to counsel that homosexual sex is as valid as heterosexual sex. 
  • A British pastor lost his license for refusing to marry same sex couples. 
  • On January 1, 2010, the Roman Catholic Church ended foster-care and adoption programs in Washington, DC, rather than submit to DC’s new policy requiring the Church to consider homosexuals in adoptions and foster care in violation of Church beliefs.
  • In 2005, the Roman Catholic Church also stopped its foster-care and adoption programs in Massachusetts rather than conform to the 2004 4-3 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that barring same sex marriage was unconstitutional, which would lead to the right to adopt.
  • In England, the Roman Catholic Church has also ended foster-care and adoption services when the government refused to give them a religious exemption as to homosexual adoptions.
  • In Africa, in May 2010, gay and lesbian forces will be in Gambia to lobby the African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights to impose a same sex marriage policy on the entire continent of Africa without allowing individual countries to have a say. Advocates Africa is virtually alone in standing against these forces.
 
ESCALATING GLOBAL THREATS TO THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND RELIGION: Like book titles, the names of religions say a great deal. “Christian” means to be a follower of Christ. “Islam” means total submission. Our Swedish colleague and member of our Global Council, Mats Tunehag, spoke recently in Madrid, Spain on the trends of freedom of expression and religion in Europe and the U.S. He presented several examples showing how Islam increasingly trumps Christianity.
 
  • Dutch lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali had to flee her country and move to the U.S. after she criticized the mistreatment of women in Islamic societies.
  • In Italy, the journalist and author Oriana Fallaci was taken to court for writing that Islam “brings hate instead of love and slavery instead of freedom.”
  • In France, novelist Michel Houellebecq was taken to court for calling Islam “the stupidest religion.”
  • Yorkshire College removed the words Christmas and Easter from its calendar so as not to offend Muslims.
  • In Glasgow, a Christian radio show host was fired after a debate between a Muslim and a Christian on whether Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.”
  • In East London, the Tower Hamlets town council renamed a staff Christmas party as a “festive meal” so as not to offend Muslims.
  • In 2010, a preacher in Cumbria, England was arrested for having “caused distress” by saying that the Bible teaches that drunkenness and homosexuality are wrong.
  • In 2010, Swedish and American television dared not show episodes of South Park where there are references to Islam due to threats. 
  • In 2010, ads on buses in Miami, Florida promoting religious freedom and offering to help those who wish to leave Islam were removed because the company did not want to “offend Islam.”
  • Christian hotel owners in Liverpool were arrested and prosecuted for expressing an opinion about Islam in a conversation about religion. Although they eventually were acquitted, the case was an economic disaster for the couple who were forced to sell the hotel.
  • 55% of the Muslims in Denmark think criticizing religion should be forbidden and 64% support curtailing freedom of speech.
 
However, there is good news! For the first time in history, there is a global network of Christian advocates linked together locally and regionally to address these threats to religious freedom, while …
 
Living in His-Story,
 
 
 
Sam Ericsson
Founder & President