Though it doesn’t mention today’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling, I expect that we’ll only be seeing more articles like this one from the Baptist Press in the coming weeks warning that equality for gays is on a collision course with religious liberty in which Religious Right activists warn their supporters that, in the not too distant future, Christian churches are going to have their tax-exempt status revoked and that Christians as a groups are going to be turned into pariahs on par with racists unless they stand up and fight back:
“Whenever you have same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions, you end up having a clash between the same-sex agenda and freedom of religion (said Mathew Staver of the Liberty Counsel). The two are not compatible, because the same-sex agenda seeks to force by law acceptance of its view, and that will inevitably collide with Christian values…. People really need to wake up, because this, I think, is the greatest threat to our liberty that we face today — bar none.”
Jordan Lorence, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, agreed.
“This is not a made-up threat,” Lorence told BP. “This is not some sort of concocted Chicken Little cry. These are actual cases, and as those supporters of same-sex marriage get more and more bold, we’ll see more action to punish and silence us.”
Down the road, the tax-exempt status of churches could be challenged as homosexuality and “sexual orientation” increasingly are placed alongside race in anti-discrimination laws. The goal of homosexual activists, Staver said, is to transform society so much that it views opponents of “gay marriage” in the same light it views racists.
“That’s the agenda. It’s always been the agenda,” Staver said. “There is no question that if same-sex marriage becomes legal, that churches eventually will have their tax-exempt status threatened — no question whatsoever. If churches today discriminate against race, they would not be able to have tax-exempt status today. If churches discriminate on the basis of same-sex marriage — if it became legal — then same-sex marriage becomes the equivalent of race, and churches would not be able to have tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.”
If Staver’s prediction comes true, it could impact everything from adoption agencies to Christian school accreditation to licensing for professional counselors, Lorence said. It even could impact church plants who wish to use or rent a public facility.
“The coercive aspect of this cannot be overstated, in my opinion,” Lorence said.