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An expert on Islam argues that California is on the precipice of legalizing religious discrimination – unless, of course, that religion is Islam.
By J.M. Phelps, OneNewsNow, Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Based on recent events on Capitol Hill, it could be argued that there’s growing opposition to the foundational Christian beliefs of America by elected officials in the U.S. government. Several recent congressional hearings bear this out: Russell Vought, Amy Coney Barrett, and Mike Pompeo are examples. In all three cases, a presidential nominee’s Christian faith was publicly denounced by left-leaning senators.
Other examples from the nation’s courts – the stories of Hobby Lobby, Kim Davis, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Jack Phillips – also demonstrate the ongoing attack on the foundational Christian beliefs of Americans.
OneNewsNow spoke with Dr. Bill Warner, the founder of the Center for the Study of Political Islam. He wonders if similar questions would have been asked of Muslim nominees or businesses about their beliefs concerning, for example, homosexuality – as Pompeo was queried. Warner points out that “the Hadith condemns homosexuality to the point of killing them” – and he argues that while some Westernized or reformed Muslims may be opposed to the death penalty in modern society, the majority will still condemn homosexual behavior.
Regardless, the attack on Christian beliefs – and on those who hold them – continues, most recently exemplified by a controversial piece of legislation on the verge of passage in Sacramento.
Attorney: Golden State wants to ‘criminalize Christianity’
In an unprecedented act by the California legislature against the God-endowed rights of the First Amendment, Assembly Bill (AB) 2943 has declared “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” are unlawful business practices.
Despite the fact the bill doesn’t explicitly specify certain religions, it has Christians like Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, gravely concerned as it would critically hamper those with unwanted same-sex attraction from actually getting help.
AB 2943, says Staver, “means the entire weight of the state of California can come after an individual or entity, which includes the Bible. The Bible, for example, in many places – but very clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – specifically addresses homosexuality as being one on a list of other sins. And it states in verse 11, ‘and such were some of you'” (ESV).
The attorney maintains that the bill is “exceptionally broad and discriminatory” – and he agrees that concerns are justified because of two unique aspects of the bill.
“Number one, it bans change counsel for adults,” he tells OneNewsNow. “Number two, it states that providing, advertising, encouraging, or participating in change counsel will be considered fraudulent business practices.” He then adds: “I think it’s incremental – and they are trying to take one step at a time to get to the ultimate objective, and that is to criminalize Christianity.”
A majority of evangelical Christians believe the Bible is very clear in its definition of marriage and sexuality, holding to the view described by Staver: that homosexuality behavior is sinful. Similarly, many other faith groups – including Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons – don’t affirm same-sex relationships. However, courts have yet to hold the Muslim faith or Muslim business practices to the same standard that’s been imposed on businesses like Hobby Lobby and individuals like Jack Phillips. And Muslim politicians, such as Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and André Carson (D-Indiana), go unchallenged on their faith’s stance on homosexuality.
Thus far in debates over the application of AB 2943, all that’s been discussed is how it affects pastors, preachers, ministers, and counselors – not imams. Warner says the same rules don’t apply because “the Muslim religious leaders protest on any limitation that comes to Islam.”
“Their whole premise is always to expand Islam, never allowing any shrinkage of its influence,” he continues. “It’s what the imams are dedicated to, it’s what Muslims are dedicated to, it’s what the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to. They are dedicated to the spread of Islam.” Warner laments that perhaps only five percent of Christian leaders are as committed to their faith.
AB 2943 has been approved by the California Assembly, and awaits a floor vote after passing through two Senate committees by late May.
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