This morning’s email bag included a news release with quotes from officers at Union Theological Seminary and Auburn Theological Seminary, in celebration of President Obama’s executive order effectively requiring religious organizations with government contracts over $10,000 to hire homosexuals.
Religious leaders across the country declared victory today as the president honored their request to leave out a religious exemption in an executive order banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.
This follows a “grassroots campaign” to gather signatures begging the president to force them to hire homosexuals — or in politically-correct parlance, to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In exultant language, the news release goes on…
Present at today’s signing ceremony was Rev. Fred Davie, Executive Vice President of Union Theological Seminary and a member of the LGBT community. “Today at the White House I witnessed the arc of history bend toward justice,” said Davie. “This is a tremendous victory for those of us who believe that as people of faith we should be exemplary, not exempted. Leaving out a religious exemption is simply the right thing to do, both theologically and civically. It is my obligation, and desire, as a Christian and a member of human community to love my neighbor and it is my obligation as a citizen to treat all my fellow citizens equally, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
It’s a peculiar locution — “leaving out a religious exemption” — akin to “leaving out the leaving out.” The authors of the press release preferred double negative to a plain assertion, like: “the president commanded faith-based organizations to violate the tenets of their faith if they want to serve as a federal contractors.”
But why all of this unseemly lobbying?
If, as the Rev. Davie suggests, “we should be exemplary, not exempted,” doesn’t his Christian faith instruct that exemplary behavior should be a matter of the heart in obedience to the scriptures? Or is his spiritual devotion to “righteousness” merely compliance with an executive order that amends Executive Orders 11246 and 11478?
The scope of this executive order is not yet clear. Grants are not affected, but contracts are.
…federal funds for overseas relief and development are increasingly allocated by contracts, and prison services are also funded through contracts, so some religious organizations will likely be affected…
So, why are religious leaders begging the head of state to do what they’re already eager to do?
You already know the answer. They seek executive orders “for thee, but not for me.”
In other words, they’re actually enlisting the power of the government to compel those other religious groups to stop taking their scriptures so seriously. However, if those sticklers choose “to obey God rather than men,” and lose their government contracts…well then, there’s more government work to go around for those who know how to “render unto Caesar” without quibbling over how many Unitarian transsexuals can love one another on the head of a pin.
So, now that the religious exemption is left behind, will justice “roll down like waters waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”?
Oddly enough, Obama did not rescind a Bush-era executive order allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate on the basis of religious denomination. In other words, Baptist organizations can hire Baptists and Jewish agencies can hire Jews, and neither has to hire Muslims or Catholics in order to qualify for federal contract work.
But what if your religious denomination excludes from service people who violate scripture through homosexual behavior? Well…
“I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.”
These must be adjudicated by our black-robed betters — not the religious ones, mind you.