We, as Christians, are walking a fine line on what we should or should not believe to be a way of life that is pleasing to God, while maintaining our own beliefs for our children and future generations. In the Holy Scriptures, we are told specifically how to live. It is spelled out in the Ten Commandments and other Biblical texts.
The Early Church told the believers to live a life pleasing to God. There were many cultural taboos that we think nothing of today. Men and women are less restricted in worship, dress etc. We, however, divide ourselves between conservative and liberal even within our congregations…whether Protestant or Catholic. Some faiths find it extremely important to protect and teach their children a way in life that will bring happiness and peaceful contentment.
We have dear friends in many walks of life. Some of them have lifestyles of which we would consider not according to Holy Scripture. However, we believe that how they live and walk before God is their choice. We all have the same choice.
As a retired educator, who was the Principal of a Christian school at one time, I know that all schools have to uphold the law. The recent law passed by the Supreme Court will make it difficult for many Catholic and Protestant Christian schools to maintain what they believe, as they are now required to have a diverse faculty who will teach their students. During the time of hiring, no questions can be asked that would indicate in any way a school was showing discrimination. Most Christians that I know would not question a person about their private life, but a school administration has an obligation to the children’s education and to the parents of the children. I’m certain that “What do we do?” is a big topic of discussion in every Christian school board room.
We have good friends in Virginia who have a wonderful school for their Mennonite congregation. We have visited them many times, even though we were not Mennonite and received a warm welcome. They are very careful with their children…not even allowing TV watching as a principle of their belief. Will they and other Christian schools and universities have to close in order to maintain the principles of their faith and beliefs? What about the many Catholic, Protestant and Jewish/Hebrew Schools or all the private schools of varied faiths? It probably would be without saying that there will be expensive law suits, even if there would be little evidence to prove discrimination. Most small schools do not have excessive amount of funds. The fact is that the average school, with little endowment, do their best to give scholarships to those unable to pay, meet their expenses and have to promote all types of fund-drives. If they believe they have to close because they can no longer proclaim their own specifics of faith, will home-schooling become the only way to maintain the teachings of their belief without breaking the law…. is the question?
Article Credit: To shed further light on the ruling for Christian institutions and others, here is a recent article on the subject written by Elizabeth Dias for the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — For conservative Christian groups, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling protecting the rights of gay and transgender workers was not only the latest sign that they are losing the American culture wars over sexuality. It also caused widespread concern that it could affect how they operate their own institutions.
Many faith-based organizations, like schools or nonprofits, do not allow LGBT people to work there, citing religious beliefs that sex should only be between a man and a woman who are married.
“No question it is going to make it harder to defend our religious freedom, as far as an organization being able to hire people of like mind,” said Franklin Graham, who leads Samaritan’s Purse, a large evangelical relief group.
“I find this to be a very sad day,” he said. “I don’t know how this is going to protect us.”
The employment of LGBT workers in religious institutions has been an issue across the country. In recent high-profile cases, teachers at Catholic schools in Washington state and Indiana have said they were forced to leave because of their sexual identity.
In a 6-3 ruling Monday, the Supreme Court determined that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex, also applies to many millions of gay and transgender workers.
The ruling would have “seismic implications” for religious freedom and would potentially set off years of lawsuits for religious organizations, said Russell Moore, president of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“There’s a common assumption in secular America that as the culture changes that evangelicals and Roman Catholicism and other forms of religion will morph and change along with it,” he said. “I don’t think that is true.”
He added, “Most evangelicals and Catholics and others who hold to a traditional Christian ethic are countercultural.”
The Association of Christian Schools International, which provides services to about 2,700 schools in the United States, is reviewing the implications of the case and reiterated its position that sexual activity must only be between a man and a woman who are married. The group’s president, Larry Taylor, said that “the impact on the hiring policies of religious institutions that teach the biblical view of marriage” and that “uphold a standard of conduct consistent with our faith” is “not yet fully understood.”
For religious conservatives, the ruling was especially pointed because it came from a bench that leans conservative and because Justice Neil Gorsuch, whom they had championed as a hero for other causes like abortion, wrote for the majority. Unlike the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide during the Obama administration, this ruling came from their allies.
In his opinion, Gorsuch recognized the existence of several religious freedom protections, including the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a “ministerial exception” in employment discrimination laws.
But he signaled that Monday’s decision could lead to a fight over the validity over those protections. “How these doctrines protecting religious liberty interact with Title VII are questions for future cases too,” he wrote.
In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito suggested that some existing religious protections could unravel. “The scope of these provisions is disputed, and as interpreted by some lower courts, they provide only narrow protection,” he wrote.
He also said the ruling left open questions about access to restrooms and locker rooms. “For women who have been victimized by sexual assault or abuse,” he wrote, “the experience of seeing an unclothed person with the anatomy of a male in a confined and sensitive location such as a bathroom or locker room can cause serious psychological harm.”
Some religious groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, had filed amicus briefs in two sets of cases that were before the court, arguing that Title VII did not address gender identity. The 1964 law “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
“I am deeply concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively redefined the legal meaning of ‘sex’ in our nation’s civil rights law,” the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop José H. Gomez, said in a statement. “This is an injustice that will have implications in many areas of life.
“Protecting our neighbors from unjust discrimination does not require redefining human nature,” he said.
But what conservative religious groups may see as a religious freedom issue, secular and progressive religious groups see as an excuse to discriminate.
The Interfaith Alliance’s policy director, Katy Joseph, called it “a watershed moment for equality,” and the executive director for the American Humanist Association, Roy Speckhardt, said it was a sign that “even with the religious right entrenched in Washington, D.C., progress can still happen.”
Forecasting a coming fight over religious liberty, Americans United for Separation of Church and State urged a unified strategy. “The progressive, inclusive faith and secular communities must come together to make clear that religious freedom is a shield that protects, not a sword that licenses discrimination,” the group’s president, Rachel Laser, said in a statement.
Even as more Americans have embraced the cause of gay rights, sexuality remains one of the most divisive issues in Christian communities. This year a group of leaders in the United Methodist Church, which has roughly 7 million members in the United States, announced a plan to formally split the church because of “fundamental differences” over same-sex marriage.
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president of the Council of Bishops for the United Methodist Church, said Monday that she appreciated the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We have faithful followers of Jesus who both stand on very opposite interpretations of LGBTQ issues,” she said. “My hope is that at some point we will look at ways that do honor and respect people for all that God has called them to be and do.”
While you think about these strong beliefs or go about your work, here is some beautiful music for your background pleasure. Turn on your sound.
The subject of immorality is out in the open. Perhaps the first thing we need to do is to identify exactly what we mean by immorality. We are not always talking about sexual immorality. God’s law does say “Thou shall not commit adultery.” That seems clear, but in essence, we are talking about wrong behavior. This could range from evil and wicked acts such as stealing, murder, adultery, lying and corruption in many forms. Any way one looks at it, it is always associated with doing wrong and being offensive. Wrong behavior is a way of living avoided by most people who want to live good, honorable lives and teach it to their children. For those readers who may be unfamiliar with what exactly the 10 Commandments are, this picture gives the list that was given to Moses.
Probably everyone has broken one or more of these Holy Laws at one time or another. We may ask ourselves, however, in modern interpretation…what have we made our Gods? Have we never used God’s name in vain? Do we honor a special day to worship? How many truly honor our Mother or Father and show them that they are honored? We may not have killed, committed adultery, but saying something false or repeating a gossip against someone…or even stretching the truth is probably something we have all done. You get the point.
How is all this relevant to us in this time of electing our next President of the United States? What responsibilities do our candidates have in this matter of immorality or morality? What about the press that labors on the off color or inappropriate comments because that is what they think we, the people, want to hear?.. or do we?
Let’s come straight to the point… disgusting and inappropriate words and behaviors are being aired into our homes day and night. Most of us allow it. Our children are watching and hearing our reactions to whatever we are seeing. We have friends who limit T.V. or do not have TV at all in their homes. The reason? They are protecting their children. Children, at early ages, hear and have to deal with the obscene statements made on T.V. Unfortunately, they are often made by political candidates and others. Sometimes they are hearing their own family saying things that are offensive. They watch women who are willing to go on T.V. and give in the most descriptive, detailed way inappropriate sexual behavior toward them. The young are most observant and hear more than we think. They wonder what is the meaning of words like racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic…or may ask who is “deplorable” or what does “irredeemable” mean? It is too much…too young…too depressing. Could we even say it is immoral to poison the minds of the innocent? In this world of cell phones, computers, TV, video games and movies, is it any wonder that young people are often suicidal? We worry about mental health and instability in our society. How much are we contributing to this? Children need to have a child’s life because adulthood will come soon enough. Giving them freedom to watch and see everything and anything is not responsible parenting. Hats off to those parents who place boundaries. Maybe it is time for adults to do the same for themselves.
This is not saying that everyone should have their heads in the sand about what is going on in the world or in the political world, but as the young grow up, there will be time for discussions on topics they don’t understand. How much poison are we bringing into society because most are glued to their T.V. sets. Is our nation going down a slippery slope with no way to return to the normal and the decent? Even many adults have had enough. Yes, God knows our hearts and what is happening to our nation. There is need for transformation, just as there is a need for protecting our young. We, as adults, need to take control of our lives or we may be dragged down into the muck and the mire.
The highest honor in America is to be the President of a free country…following Lincoln and other great leaders. In recent years, the people of our nation seem to ignore immoral ways. People who believe in being moral and following the commandments for living are criticized and branded as “old fashioned” or “out of touch.”
One may be interested in how “out of touch” our founding fathers were when they wrote the Constitution and our great Washington monuments were built with inscriptions that announced the beliefs of out nation. Do you know the following?
- Walking up the steps to the U.S. Capitol Building, which houses the Supreme Court, set into the top of the building is a row of the world’s law givers who are facing Moses and the Ten Commandments.
- As one enters the Supreme Court, the two large oak doors also have the Ten Commandments engraved on the lower part of the door. Inside the courtroom is another display of the Commandments where the judges are seated.
- There are Bible verses etched in stone over the Federal Buildings and are displayed in state capitals.
- James Madison, our 4th President and Father of our Constitution said: “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
- Patrick Henry, a Founding Father and patriot said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians…not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
- Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher…whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.
Were these men backward and out of touch? After reading these facts about men who worked to build our nation, one may ask how far away from morality have we come? Many in our country do not seem to trust what any member of Congress or the President has to say. Truth and trustworthiness is at its lowest ebb. Political correctness and their next election are in the forefront. Cooperation between parties in order to get things done for the benefit of all seems non-existent.
It does not appear to matter, in modern days, that a President was impeached for his immoral ways and then reelected. Those who have the option of leading this country into a better, higher, and more moral way also demean those who teach that immorality is not acceptable, whether one is in office or simply a citizen.
This came to light when a leaked email called the Catholic faith “severely backward” and hoped that Catholics would “demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship.” (article by Eric Scheener) It is assumed that those writing the emails are aware that the Christian faith, whether Catholic or Protestant, takes their so called “backward” views from the commandments of the Bible. Concerning these emails, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York said, “Were it any other religion…Jewish or Muslim faiths…there would be an apology…”
Apologies may not be the answer for no one seems to take apologies seriously. The hearts of the people and the country’s leaders need to be changed according to the Reverend Billy Graham. Now in his 90’s, Reverend Graham has been teaching what the Holy Scriptures has to say about being moral or immoral for over 60 years. It is estimated that Reverend Graham has given God’s message of forgiveness and salvation to about 2.2 billion people in 185 countries on 6 continents. This is what he had to say just a few years ago, still holding the same view today. Some would say he has not “evolved” enough. Others would say that he is being true to the principles of morality within the Christian faith and is a voice of warning to our nation.
“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles. ‘Hope and change’ has become a cliche in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed. Our country is turning away from what has made it so great. But far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought. He knows our hearts need transformation.” Dr.Graham
To be transformed is to be changed in our spirits and souls. Psalms 139:2 and 26:2; Isaiah 64:8
“The man with a conscience fights a lonely battle against the overwhelming forces of inescapable situations which demand decisions. . . . Some who seek to escape from taking a stand publicly find a place of refuge in private virtuousness. Such a man does not steal. He does not commit murder. He does not commit adultery. Within the limits of his powers he does good. He must be blind and deaf to the wrongs which surround him. It is only at the price of an act of self-deception that he can safeguard his private blamelessness against contamination through responsible action in the world. Whatever he may do, that which he omits to do will give him no peace. Either this disquiet will destroy him or he will become the most hypocritical of Pharisees.” Derrick Bonhoeffer
In the last few weeks, we have seen a head of a country send troops into a sovereign nation to “protect” the people from the opinions of others. Mr. Putin listened to the voice of basically one man, Sergiy Aksyonov, in the Crimea area of Ukraine and Putin massed his Russian troops. He also listened to and supported the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled from the people’s voice of decent. No constitution was adhered to in any of these decisions. Now more troops are being brought into Ukraine; a ship has been destroyed in the waterway so the Ukrainian Navy cannot leave. We have all seen the story and it is a continuing saga.
These point have been brought up because we in the United States of America have a Constitution that our leaders are to abide by and protect….it is the foundation of the laws of the land. No President of our country has a right to do anything but to abide by and defend this document, The Constitution, regardless of the President’s party. He took an oath to do this. He also must uphold the laws that have been passed.
Below is a message given to the House of Representatives by Senator Gowdy of South Carolina. He makes points to why the Constitution does matter…and that our present President needs to be certain that he is not acting in any way like Mr. Putin of Russia now or in the future.