Houston Exposes a New Threat to Religious Freedom
The movement standing against government intrusion in the pulpit is growing.
I Stand Sunday was evidence that Americans will not stand for government intrusion into the pulpit. Around 6,000 attendees showed up at Grace Community Church to stand in support of religious liberty and free speech in Houston.
Additionally, Pulpit Freedom Sunday reached record participation numbers this year. Over 2,000 pastors nationwide have signed up to stand against the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment in 2014. Over 4,000 distinct pastors have signed up since we started in 2008.
Despite the increased call for free pulpits, the events in Houston exposed a new and growing threat to religious liberty.
ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley spoke at I Stand Sunday and addressed the unique threats that sexual orientation, gender identity ordinances — such as Houston’s bathroom bill — pose to churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries. And these ordinances are popping up across the nation.
The issue with these ordinances is that they elevate sexual liberty over religious liberty in the name of “equality.”
They have been invoked to try to force Christian photographers, bakers, and florists to participate in same-sex ceremonies, even when doing so violated their religious beliefs about sexuality and marriage. They’ve been used to try to force Christian printers to print t-shirts celebrating gay pride festivals. They have been used to try to force Christian-owned farms to host same-sex ceremonies in their own homes, and Christian adoption agencies to place babies with same-sex couples or go out of business. They have even been used to threaten two ordained pastors with fines and jail time for refusing to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies at their wedding chapel.
These ordinances have been initially applied against Christian owners of for-profit businesses but can also be applied against churches, Christian schools, and other ministries. In fact, we have already seen that start to happen.
ADF wants to help prepare your ministry to defend your right to act according to your faith.
We have developed a free legal guide for these organizations to guard themselves against these ordinances, which can be found at www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/church.
ADF will continue to stand for religious liberty in the pulpit and in your ministry — will you join the movement?
Here’s what you can do:
- Download the “Protecting Your Ministry” handbook at www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/church and share it with your pastor, principal, or leaders at any other Christian organizations.
- Tell your pastor to head to www.PulpitFreedom.org to join over 4,000 pastors nationwide who agree the Johnson Amendment must be repealed.
Author: Alliance Defending Freedom
By Sarah Kramer, Marketing Campaign Coordinator
Originally published at blog.alliancedefendingfreedom.org on November 24, 2014.