When the culture equates dissent with bigotry

by Nick Eicher

Posted on Friday, July 3, 2015, at 3:48 pm

In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex couples have the right to get marriage licenses, I talked this week with John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview about what comes next for Christians. How will the government treat the church and religious dissenters?

Stonestreet referenced Christian commentator Ryan Anderson, who has distinguished between how the culture has treated those who oppose abortion and those who opposed the civil rights movement. The mainstream media portray dissenters of Roe v. Wade as quirky and weird, but not necessarily evil. But racist people who oppose civil rights are rightfully considered bigots. 

“So the question is: Are people of faith [who oppose same-sex marriage] going to be seen as dissenters of Roe v. Wade,or dissenters of the civil rights movement?” Stonestreet said. “Since so much civil rights language has surrounded the issue of same-sex marriage, I think we can make a pretty good, educated guess which way that will go, but how the power of the government will come alongside of this will be another great question.”

Some supporters of same-sex marriage such as New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer are calling on the government to end tax-exempt status for nonprofit organizations. 

“The ink wasn’t even dry from the decision, from Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s pen, when Mark Oppenheimer … said it’s time for churches and religious organizations to get off the public dole,” Stonestreet said. As the government decides how to handle dissent in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, the future of religious liberty hangs in the balance.

“One of the great questions of religious liberty in our day is … is religious liberty just the ability to believe what one believes in the privacy of their own head, their own home, their own house of worship, or is it the right to take their deeply held beliefs into the public square?” Stonestreet said.

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Nick Eicher

Nick is chief content officer of WORLD and co-host for WORLD Radio. He has served WORLD Magazine as a writer and reporter, managing editor, editor, and publisher. Nick resides with his family in St. Louis, Mo.

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