Massachusetts Forces LGBT 'Accommodation' Rules on Churches
As the Washington Post's Eugene Volokh argues, this will inevitably engender conflict with religious liberty. "Now, churches hold events 'open to the general public' all the time — it's often how they seek new converts. And even church 'secular events,' which I take it means events that don't involve overt worship, are generally viewed by the church as part of its ministry, and certainly as a means of the church modeling what it believes to be religiously sound behavior," Volokh explains.
"My guess is that most churches would not turn someone away from a generally open spaghetti supper," Volokh writes. "But some religious leaders, as well as the church employees and volunteers, may refuse to use pronouns that they believe are inconsistent with God's plan as revealed by anatomy."
"Truth-telling is always necessary for the Christian," writes Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. He cited Ephesians 4:15 to back up this assertion. That verse comes in the context of equipping the saints for service, building up the Christian church to its destined maturity. The entire passage is important, but verses 14 and 15 fit the transgender naming threat perfectly:
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.
Burk explains that, as Christians, "We are not allowed to speak in ways that are fundamentally dishonest and that undermine the truth of God's word about how he made us and the world." Transgender ideology is "fundamentally a revolt against God's truth" because "it encourages people—sometimes very disturbed and hurting people—to deny who God made them to be."
The ideology "traps them in a way of thinking and living that is harmful to them and that alienates them from God's truth. We do not serve them or love them well by speaking as if transgender fictions were true."
Burk explained that, due to his reading of scripture, his conscience will not allow him to support transgender fictions with his words. "For me, that means that I may never refer to a biological male with pronouns that encourage him to think of himself as a female. Likewise, I may never refer to a biological female with pronouns that encourage her to think of herself as a male."
In our current political climate, this is a difficult position to take. For pastors and preachers in Massachusetts after October 1, such a stand on conscience will be illegal.
Next Page: But these restrictions do not only apply to church leaders.