One reader (perhaps we can call him Mere O’s very own Professor Kingsfield?) of Friday’s post raised another possible mechanism that could be used by courts or legislatures to target conservative religious groups: the fear of “religious extremism.”

Jake —

You said, “But such a move would probably be a bridge too far as that box includes a lot of organizations that even many progressives would be reluctant to see lose tax-exempt status. (It also would be relatively easy to spin such a strategy in the media as being anti-Islamic or anti-Semitic, which would create major problems for the supporters of such a move.) Thus there would need to be some kind of legal mechanism for removing tax-exempt status from religious organizations that discriminate against protected classes while preserving it for non-discriminatory organizations.”
I wonder if you can do it, UK-style, under the banner of “counter-extremism.”  Then, for the general public, it doesn’t have to become anti-Islamic or anti-Semitic, it becomes anti Islamist extremists, or anti Jewish extremism.  Once the general public starts to see orthodox Christianity as “extreme” — dangerous with respect to “social cohesion” and “child safeguarding” (to use two popular British terms) — then I wonder if you couldn’t see more state-and-social-defense-through-offense moves (i.e. remove tax status, greater scrutiny of what’s being taught to children in ‘non-school education’ settings, etc.)

The roadmap for how this would work is not hard to spot, as our reader alludes to in his email. One need only look across the Atlantic to the home of Mere Fidelity contributors Andrew Wilson and Alastair Roberts to see a similar project already under way. For some time now, the UK has been taking steps to target “religious extremism.” Unfortunately, the definitions of religious extremism are both relatively fluid and relatively expansive.

In Britain’s case, any kind of curriculum that is deemed insufficiently inclusive is likely to be branded “extreme.” Orthodox Jewish schools that teach only in Hebrew have been targeted, for example. So too have Christian schools that teach traditional Christian sex ethics. (Ostensibly Christian schools that are sufficiently inclusive in the eyes of the UK government have generally passed Ofsted’s examination without too much trouble.)

Britain has recently tried to push this sort of regulation of schools even more aggressively by proposing a plan to require Sunday Schools to register with the government and be subject to random examinations from Ofsted employees. That proposal was roundly criticized by conservatives, thankfully, and for now it appears to be on hold.

That being said, it is not hard to imagine a scenario where something similar could play out in the United States, though it will likely take a bit more time simply because millennials do not, at this point, have enough political power to make such legislation happen. However, the numbers we do have don’t look good.

According to Barna (and yes, yes, Barna, grain of salt, etc.), here’s a breakdown on the sorts of things that are now considered to be signs of religious extremism:

  • Over 80% of US adults believe that refusing to serve someone because the customer’s lifestyle conflicts with their beliefs is extreme. (We’ll leave out, for the moment, the rather unhelpful way Barna phrased this question, although this is a good example of why Barna’s polling data is sometimes not the best.)
  • 50-79% of US adults think that demonstrating outside an organization they consider to be immoral is extreme.
  • The same number think that attempting to convert others to their faith, teaching children that same-sex acts are wrong, or believing that same-sex acts are wrong is extreme.
  • 20-49% believe that speaking in tongues, quitting a good-paying job to pursue mission work in another country, wearing special clothes or head coverings for religious observance, adhering to special dietary restrictions or fasting, and waiting until marriage to have sex are signs of extremism.

Many of the things described above are fairly mainstream, normal behaviors in many Christian traditions, to say nothing of Judaism and Islam. If, and that’s a big if, admittedly, but if those definitions of extremism currently believed by American adults are allowed to be unchallenged and take root on a broader level, then it is not hard to imagine future legislative actions in America that mirror those in the UK.

One takeaway from this, then, is that we desperately need Christians who are known as Christians working in professions outside of the church or para-church setting. One of evangelicalism’s besetting sins, I think, has been a tendency to think that anyone who is really passionate about the Lord needs to be in full-time vocational ministry of some sort or doing foreign missions. We now may be reaping the consequences of that belief as, despite the fact that evangelicals make up 25% of the American population, mainstream evangelical beliefs are now thought to be hopelessly weird or even extreme. The problem in many cases, I imagine, is that smart, well-educated American adults may not know any evangelical believers or may not know that people they do know are evangelical.

I remember well a time in college when a friend of mine who worked for the university organized a student panel to discuss some proposed changes at the university. She recruited a bunch of students from RUF to be on the panel. At the event, several faculty members were blown away by the quality of the students my friend was able to find. Afterward, her boss asked her where she found them. When she told her that they were all in her campus ministry, her boss didn’t believe her. She didn’t think Christians could be that smart. From conversations with other friends in the academy, I know that sort of belief is not unusual amongst many in the university today. I suspect it is also true in many other spheres too.

So if you are a smart college kid who likes theology, likes talking to people about Jesus, and wants to do meaningful work in the kingdom, here’s one idea: Don’t go to seminary.

Get a job in marketing or retail or tech or healthcare or journalism (do those still exist?) and just be a normal Christian. Be a good lay parishioner in your church. Make a better wage than you probably would as a pastor or in para-church ministry, or at least make a wage that isn’t paid by the church or a para-church ministry, and then use that money to do good things. (Our churches may be in desperate financial straits in the near future.) Heck, do something radical.

Get married and have a bunch of kids. Do something to help the sorry state of education in our country—and help it not just for the Christian kids, but for the non-Christian kids as well. Let’s start Christian schools that are so good that we have non-Christians wanting to send their kids to learn with us.

This is what we need, probably more than we need anything else at this moment: We need normal Christian people living basically normal lives who are animated in such a way by the Gospel that it energizes and emboldens them to build institutions and support good works.

The day is coming soon when it will be very very easy for us to live in isolated Christian micro-cultures, not because we are choosing them for ourselves, but because the disdain mainstream America has for our beliefs makes such exile inevitable. But what if they couldn’t fully exile us because the work we’re doing in our local places is so high-quality, enjoyable, and fruitful that they can’t ignore us? That’s the way forward.*

* One footnote is probably in order: I can’t speak for Rod Dreher, but what I’m describing is not something that I see as being in any way at odds with the idea of the Benedict Option, even if I’m sounding at times much more like James Davison Hunter or Tim Keller than Rod Dreher or Wendell Berry. The way I understand it, the BenOp idea begins with creating small, local communities dedicated to a shared way of life whose goal is cultivating the Christian life in that place and forming people as disciples. But disciples do things; they don’t just stay in the Christian sub-culture, they move outward, as we were called to do by Christ in the Great Commission. And this is particularly true for heirs of the magisterial reformation who understand the relationship between church and commonwealth in a way far superior to that of Rome or the traditions that have spawned from or whose theology mirrors that of the radical reformation.

This, incidentally, is also why I’ve never bought the critique that the BenOp is all about cultural withdrawal. It’s not. It’s about looking at our church communities, dealing with the fact that evangelicals and Catholics alike are doing a very poor job of catechizing their young people, and figuring out what needs to be done to fix that and then doing it. It’s about doing a better job at training disciples, in other words. But once we have made some progress on that point, those disciples we create have to go somewhere and do something.

(Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oxford_University,_Radcliffe_Camera,_a_Reading_room_of_Bodleian_library.jpg)

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Posted by Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy as well as the Vice President of the Davenant Institute. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell and Austin. Jake's writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play. His first book, "In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured Age," will be published summer of 2019 by InterVarsity Press.

  • After reading what Americans consider to be extreme, perhaps a poll should be taken asking the following question: Do you believe that the way Americans use the word ‘extreme’ is extreme?

    The word itself does not give us much information. For it only gives the results of something, not a stroy of how those results got there. So, I wouldn’t use the word ‘extreme’ to refer to any of the items listed in that poll. Instead of extreme, I would look at whether the actions or beliefs judged above infringed on the rights of others or posed a threat to them.

    We religiously conservative Christians are sometimes like the proverbial bull in a china shop. We conveniently forget our history with other groups and whether our past actions have hurt others and thus could understandably produce a backlash. Then when the backlash comes, we play the martyr. And what best exemplifies this process is our history with the LGBT community. After all, it was just a couple to a few decades ago when homosexual acts were treated as criminal acts. Note what is it that we are afraid of now?

    We moved from that criminalization to discrimination. For example, it is legal in 29 states for an employer to terminate the employment of a worker based on sexual orientation. But let’s go on. Many of us religiously conservative Christians fought hard to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in society and we did so to marginalize the LGBT community in society. And both before and after that fight, many of us religiously conservative Christians are trying to get laws passed that would allow us to discriminate against those in the LGBT community in one of the ways Blacks were often discriminated against during Jim Crow.

    Now if we take the above history in the light of post modernism’s outcome-based truth where truth is determined by the desirability of how certain beliefs caused some to treat others, can we really believe that it is our beliefs alone that are being targeted?

    Instead of fretting over “ominous signs” for the future, we need to look at how we have acted in the past to see if there is any correlation between our past actions and our future expecations. We should note here that sometimes, fearful expectations for the future are at least the partial results of feeling guilty over one’s past.

    On the other hand, we sometimes get worked up for nothing simply because we overgeneralized on what has happened someplace else.

    • DR84

      ” Many of us religiously conservative Christians fought hard to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in society and we did so to marginalize the LGBT community in society. And both before and after that fight, many of us religiously conservative Christians are trying to get laws passed that would allow us to discriminate against those in the LGBT community in one of the ways Blacks were often discriminated against during Jim Crow.”

      You are wrong in every way possible. Same sex relationships are not marriages and can never be marriages. This has nothing to do with sexuality, two, three, or four+ men cannot form a marriage together regardless of how they may identify themselves sexually (if they even do at all). Furthermore, no one has ever been barred from marriage because of how they do not identify sexually. People who identify as l, g, b, or t have always been as free to marry as anyone else.

      What conservative Christians were fighting for was to maintain a marriage law that existed to recognize and support actual marriage relationships instead of existing to celebrate and affirm two person physically intimate relationships.

      What conservative Christians are fighting for now is to continue to have the right to not celebrate or affirm a same sex relationship as if it were a marriage. We have been losing this freedom in the public domain. In many states Christians are no longer free to making a living helping men and women celebrate their marriages without also being made to help two people of the same sex celebrate that they engage in homosexual conduct together. It is also looking increasingly grim that even churches will be allowed to continue to celebrate men and women and marrying each other without being penalized somehow (loss of tax exempt status perhaps, losing a “discrimination” suit to a gay person or couple and being fined into oblivion is another…I think this is a more likely possibility in “anti discrimination” employment law than a public accommodations “discrimination” suit).

      Again, you simply could not be more wrong. There are no attempts at a new Jim Crow regime. Nothing at all remotely of the sort. Instead Christians are simply trying to hold on to the freedoms we had before Obergefell after Obergefell, and not just freedoms for Christians, but freedoms for all. This is about everyone being able to live in accordance with their beliefs and values, instead of being made to live by the states beliefs and values. This is a fight against the de facto establishment of a new state religion that all must bow to.

      • DR84,
        You approach this subject with a lack of connection to social reality. Becuase you have declared that same-sex unions cannot be marriages, you have denied the legal battles that have been going on. You act as if your declarations make null and void the legal decisions made by the courts of our land.

        And yet, you never share the sources that support your claims. Who said that same-sex marriages cannot be real marriages. Nature didn’t, history has shown that. In fact, history is even more adamant in denying your claim that the only marriages that exist are monogamous heterosexual marriages. You claim that is a product of nature, but history says that polygamy has occurred in more societies.

        What some of my fellow Christians are battling for now is to use our religious beliefs as the basis for how society should define marriage. That is what some of us are fighting for. But in the meantime, you seem unaware of how your battle has marginalized those in the LGBT community. And not only that, you have been reluctant to admit that it is our religious definition of marriage that you are trying to pass off as nature’s universal definition of marriage. And you are not willing to admit that your definition of marriage is based on religious beliefs because you know that the 1st Amendment stands in your way.

        And because some of us religiously conservative Christians are trying to reinstitute a part of Jim Crow only with the LGBT community serving as our new targets. And no amount of denial on your part can undo the damage to the reputation of the Gospel that our efforts have accomplished.

        Deny it all you want, you are pushing a Christian definition of marriage and your refusal to provide documentation for your claim that monogamous heterosexual marriages are nature’s product illustrates a dishonesty in your argument.

        • DR84

          You continue to make claims with no supporting facts or arguments. You just say the LGBT community had been marginalized because just two person same sex relationships were not recognized as marriages. You just call it Jim Crow when laws are passed or proposed to allow churches, pastors, and perhaps wedding vendors to not have to help just two people of the same sex celebrate their homosexual conduct.

          So many unfounded claims on your part. It is hard for me to be bothered much when you also just assert my argument is dishonest. At least there is a coherent argument and facts in support of my position.

          • DR84,
            You are complaining to me about not providing documentation? That is rich.

            First, let’s take a look at the history of how the LGBT community was treated in this country. Up until around 2 to 3 decades ago, homosexual relations were prosecuted as crimes. This was true here as well as England. For documentation regarding England’s criminalization and treatment of homosexuals, watch the movie The Imitation Game.

            But it just wasn’t that. Those in the LGBT community suffered hate crimes with some of them even murdered. Many of them were afraid of coming out lest they be rejected by family and friends. In 29 states, it is STILL legal for one to lose their job because of their sexual orientation. And quite recently, both before and after the Obergefell decision, laws were being proposed that would allow Christian business owners to refuse to provide goods and services in a business setting to any person on the basis of the perceived or actual sexual orientation of that person. So we add to that the battles waged against same-sex marriage, we get an idea of how marginalized the LGBT community has been.

            Now, you misrepresented what I call Jim Crow laws. I have no problem with the parts of the law that allows churches not to conduct same-sex weddings. But many of those laws go past that. They attempt to protect Christian business owners who refuse to provide goods and services to the LGBT community as a whole or to specific events like same-sex weddings. Yes, that follows a part of what Jim Crow was about. And all one has to do is to listen to Blacks who were refused goods and services simply becaues of their race. Such had a tremendously humuliating effect on them.

            As for your claims about your argument, try showing your words in a real mirror rather than using a magic one before you assess your words.

          • DR84

            Ok, so let’s just assess the foundations of our respective arguments/reasons for our position on marriage.

            Mine is based on biological and moral truths. From biology we know humans are male and female. From moral knowledge we know humans ought to constrain their sexual conduct to lifelong monogamous unions.

            Yours is based on the feelings of some in the LGBT community. They will feel hurt if their two person relationship of choice is not regarded as a marriage. They will also be hurt if other two person relationships (like between siblings) were to be regarded as marriages are because they don’t feel these relationships are “worthy”.

            You have been taking shots at my view, but I suggest you should be far more critical of your own. It seems that it is built on a foundation of shifting sand. Whereas the foundation of my view is built on solid rock.

            As far for your Jim Crow comparison, you seem to care that the same sex attracted customers had their feelings hurt. Why do you not care that the wedding vendor felt hurt and humiliated? If all you care about is peoples feelings, why does it seem you only care about those of people who identify as LGBT?

          • DR84,
            Let’s look at your argument. First you claimed that


            You are wrong in every way possible. Same sex relationships are not marriages and can never be marriages.

            Then you say:


            Mine is based on biological and moral truths. From biology we know humans are male and female. From moral knowledge we know humans ought to constrain their sexual conduct to lifelong monogamous unions.

            However, you provide no documentation for neither the connection between your claims nor your second claim. Stating that we are made male and female does not rule out same sex relationships. Biology shows that. For biology actually shows us that that homosexuality is practiced in approximately 1,500 species (see http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/1500-animal-species-practice-homosexuality.aspx ). So if anything, biology supports multiple couplings of partners in species, not just one. In addition, don’t think that humans were excluded from those species practicing homosexuality (see for homosexuality in the Western world: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/homosexuality/ ). Where is your documentation that contradicts that?

            Your documentation is a declatation without any references. You claim that morality teaches us that humans ought to contrain themselves to lifelong monogamous unions. First, whose moral truths teaches us that? In another thread discussion, I already documentation that showed that plygamy is more common than monogamy. In addition, morality itself, according to what you just wrote, does not rule out same-sex marriages provided that they are lifelong relationships.

            Finally, regarding Jim Crow, let’s use your words in a different setting. Why should I have cared that Blacks got their feelings hurt while I didn’t care that vendors felt hurt and humilated by serving Blacks during Jim Crow? Shouldn’t I cared about the feelings of vendors and thus have said to them that they don’t have to serve Blacks? Why should I have only cared about the feelings of Blacks back then? The answer is obvious, Blacks were being marginalized by the discrimination being practiced. And the only difference between that part of Jim Crow and what you are defending now is that it is those in LGBT community who are playing the role of Blacks.

          • DR84

            It is quite tedious to wade through the muck you are spewing.

            Is same sex coupling identical to opposite sex coupling? Obviously not. So it really does not matter that some people sexually stimulate other people of the same sex. What exactly does this have to do with the fact that when men and women commit to a lifelong, monogamous union they have formed a relationship that as a rule and by nature produces the next generation anyway? The answer is nothing. It is entirely irrelevant. Maybe i should be more blunt…homosexuality is irrelevant…we can tolerate that some people wish to engage themselves in it, but we don’t have to celebrate it and we all would certainly be just fine if no one did engage in homosexual conduct. Why you keep incessantly bringing it up as if it matters, as if we should care, is quite odd. Just give it a rest. Get your head out of the muck.

            Oh, and I have already said that these wedding vendors are not at all refusing to help someone celebrate their marriage because of their “sexual orientation” or any other characteristic. In each and every case, the wedding vendors will help anyone celebrate their marriages. Your comparison with not serving people because of their skin color is not remotely accurate.

          • DR84,
            If you want to end our conversation, fine with me. You are nothing more than an authoritarian who uses doublespeak and have misrepresented what I’ve said. Examples of doublespeak include saying that same-sex marriages are not marriages but then you say that lifelong monogamous marriages are nature’s rule and add that homoseuxality is irrelevant. And, unlike one of your claims, I never called the refusal of churches and ministers to host same-sex weddings a part of Jim Crow. I only applied that to businesses

            Now this is the core of our disagreement. I hold to the Scriptural definition of marriage. I hold to what the Scriptures say about homosexuality and that it is a sin. On the other hand, when we are talking about laws, we are talking about something other than what the Scriptures say, we are talking about how we will share society with others. You say the following:


            What conservative Christians were fighting for was to maintain a marriage law that existed to recognize and support actual marriage relationships instead of existing to celebrate and affirm two person physically intimate relationships.

            When you’re fighting for that law, you are fighting to infringe on the religious liberties of those who do not agree with the Christian definition of marriage. When you are fighting this battle, you are looking to share society with others in hierarchical manner where your definition overrules how others wish to live. And while you claim that biological and moral laws support your case, you have failed to show any documentation. So I show you documentation and you were insulting.

            You also say:


            What conservative Christians are fighting for now is to continue to have the right to not celebrate or affirm a same sex relationship as if it were a marriage. We have been losing this freedom in the public domain. In many states Christians are no longer free to making a living helping men and women celebrate their marriages without also being made to help two people of the same sex celebrate that they engage in homosexual conduct together.

            Again, when the above pertains to buisness owners, that is when a part of Jim Crow comes in. And I showed that in my last comment to you and that last line contradicts what you wrote in your last comment to me:


            Oh, and I have already said that these wedding vendors are not at all refusing to help someone celebrate their marriage because of their “sexual orientation” or any other characteristic. In each and every case, the wedding vendors will help anyone celebrate their marriages. Your comparison with not serving people because of their skin color is not remotely accurate.

            How will we share society with others? One of the stated reasons why some Christians opposed the legalization of same-sex marriages is the following (see http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/10-reasons-why-homosexual-marriage-is-harmful-and-must-be-opposed.html ):


            8. It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

            By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.

            In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.

            In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.

            Besides the inaccuracies stated in the reason, do you see how Christians have sought to marginalize those from the LGBT community by being able to refuse to offer both wedding services and places to rent?

            BTW, the first reason stated in the article comes right out of your playbook:


            1. It Is Not Marriage

            Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.

            The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.

            Even if you want to make procreation the specific primary purpose of marriage, there are plenty of heterosexual marriages that show that there are other purposes for marriage without procreating. And not procreating does not disqualify their marriages. Let alone, there is the claim that it is nature ordered, and I think that if you define nature by what we observe both historically and in the animal kingdom, the statement is unfounded. I have documented that.

            Yes, according to the Scriptures, same-sex relations and marriages are wrong. But there are other ways to pass that message onto society without infringing on the religious liberties of others and while sharing society with others as equals. Realize that how we have tried to control others in society may be used against us by others because we have taught them that.

          • DR84

            So we are still infringing on the religious liberties of two brothers who wish to “marry” each other. I take it. Oops. We should take care of that, right?

            We also cannot forget all those people that want to “marry” multiple people…

          • DR84,
            Concern for their rights displays our respect for them.

            And what about those who want to marry multiple people?

          • DR84

            Two people of the same sex, brothers or otherwise, have always been free to have “wedding” ceremony and say they are “married”. So this idea that their religious freedoms have been infringed on because the state and broader society did not act as if these relationships were marriages is nonsense. Your claim has been refuted.

            However, making people act as if same sex relationships are marriages *does* violate all kinds of freedoms, speech, association, religion, conscience. It is simply inhuman and wicked. And this is what you stand for. Wake up.

          • DR84,
            It isn’t just the ceremony that it is the issue here. It is also having the legal rights that spouses have that is involved. And that involves benefits, medical decisions, other decisions, and what happens to property after the death of one of the spouses.

            Legaliozing same-sex marriages violates whose freedom? How is legalizing same-sex marriages inhuman?

          • DR84

            You are flipping things all backwards, and it does not work that way. Not recognizing same sex relationships as if they were marriages infringes on no one’s freedom of any kind because people are still free to have their ceremony and say they are “married”. However, making people act as if a relationship between two people of the same sex actually is a marriage does infringe on people’s freedoms. Which is the case with making a photographer attend and take photos of a same sex “wedding”, for example.

            You bring up a reasonable point about life issues such as inheritance issues or tax issues, etc. All of these are policy issues that could easily be solved without ever treating a same sex relationship as if it were a marriage. Furthermore, these can be issues for people who are not involved in a homosexual relationship. Why shouldn’t adult siblings who share a household be able to file joint taxes or share a medical plan after all? It is not at all fair if two men can get those benefits because their relationship involves homosexual conduct but two other men cannot because they have the same parents.

          • DR84,
            When refusing to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages gives you license to deny the equal rights of those from the LGBT community, you are infringing on their freedom.

            As during Jim Crow when those promoting it believed in White superiority, no one is forcing you to personally accept same-sex marriage as legitimate. But the law rightly limits you denying same-sex couples their equal rights. And what allows you to disagree is your definition of marriage that you claim is both universal and self-evident. But saying your definition is self-evident is similar to a doctor’s diagnosis for a condition you have as being ideopathic. It provides no basis for society to act on your claims.

          • DR84

            What do you mean by recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages and how does this refusal violate the equal rights and freedoms of the LGBT community?

            Perhaps also define what a same sex marriage is. That might be very helpful. Please also explain why this definition is the true and correct definition for marriage. That’s a fair question, just until about the day before yesterday practically no one even grasped that a man could marry a man after all.

          • DR84,
            It’s a comment on you. What does deny the existence of same-sex marriages allow you to conclude about people who don’t provide goods and services in a business setting to same-sex weddings or couples in same-sex marriages?

          • DR84

            Wedding vendors that help men and women celebrate their marriages but will not help anyone celebrate their homosexual conduct, even under the guise of a same sex “wedding”, are doing the right thing. Homosexual conduct should not be celebrated, ever, by anyone. We need more people who will not celebrate homosexual conduct, and I wish all wedding vendors would voluntarily not help anyone celebrate homosexual conduct or any kind of relationship between people of the same sex (even if no homosexual conduct is involved) as if it were a marriage. As an aside, I also wish all people who have been involved in homosexual conduct would voluntarily give it up. Not because it is in and of itself the most important choice they can make (far far far from it actually) but instead because it is a barrier to knowing Christ.

          • DR84,
            THat is why you don’t think it is discrimination and that is also the problem. We have, by linking such a refusal to our “freedom” of religion now linked our religion to discrimination. Anad all you can say is ‘AMEN.’ . And that is all that this is about. They, according to you, don’t deserve being treated as equals. And by liniking the Christian faith with your vendetta, you are the one blocking people from knowing Christ.

          • DR84

            This notion that we want to discriminate against them (whoever them is) and don’t believe they (again, whoever they are) as equals is just a figment of your imagination. Where did you even get these ideas?

          • DR84,
            History and the testimony of those from the LGBT movement shows that many religious conservative Christians want to discriminate. I’ve already gone through some of that from the criminalization of homosexuality to laws that allow for their employers to fire them because of their sexual orientation to proposed laws that would allow Christian businesss people to refuse to provide goods and services in a business setting to those from the LGBT community to fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage and to laws that would allow Christian businesses to refuse to provide goods and services to same-sex weddings.

            But if that isn’t enough, listen to why many of us opposed the legalization of same-sex weddings:

            1. Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.

            2. If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

            3. Allowing for the legalization of gay marriage further normalizes what was until very recently, and still should be, considered deviant behavior.

            4. The promotion and legal recognition of homosexual unions is not in the interest of the common good

            5. “The gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people’s view of homosexuality.”

            The above is a partial list. But note that the basis of these objections is that people will not look at those from the LGBT community the way we want them to: as deviant, immoral, hurting the common good, etc. In short, mandy religiously conservative Christians want the public to see the LGBT community as a threat. Of course, if you think that those from the LGBT community deserve that kind of treatment, then you exhibit #x of the case that says that many religiously conservative Christians want to diiscriminate against the LGBT community.

          • DR84

            Oh OK…so the options are either agree with things this so called LGBT community says and do everything they demand or you just hate them and want to hurt them.

            I’m thinking these are not the only options. What if some or all of your 5 points are true? Does this so called LGBT community get to veto truth?

            PS I have asked questions that you have ignored.

          • DR84,
            You have provided, and deliberately so, a false choice. One can fully disagree with the morality of homosexuality, as the Scriptures do, and still regard and treat those in the LGBT community as equals in society. Do we not do something similary with those who beieve in false gods? Do we not recognize that they have the freedom of religion?

            And the above point, that we can disagree with homosexuality and yet regard and treat those from the LGBT community as equals in society is one I’ve made before.

            BTW, you seem to have problems reading. I didn’t make 5 points above. The 5 items I listed above are a subset of reasons why some religiously conservative Christians opposed the legalizaton of same-sex marriage and I listed them to show evidence that some religiously conservative Christians want to discriminate against the GBT community–a point you challenged in your previous note.

            Seems like now you have lost all seriuosness in discussing this topic

          • DR84

            …and the seemingly eternally unanswered question, why must same sex relationships be recognized as marriages in order for people in the so called lGBT community to be treated equally? People in this “community” have always had the same freedom to marry as anyone else.

          • DR84,
            YOu are now repeating questions I’ve already answered. So look at my previous answers. In addition, your claim that they have always had the freedom to marry is false. Suppose you were legally prohibited from marrying another Christian. Would you say that you always had the free to marry as those who could marry anyone they choose?

            Try being serious or our conversation ends

          • DR84

            No, you have not answered that question. Not here, not anywhere.

            Nor am I going to even pretend that legally forbidding Christians from marriage is at all analogous. Not even close. People who identify as LGBT have never been prohibited from marriage or marrying the person of their choice. One cannot choose to marry someone of the same sex because that is not a marriage. If you want to argue otherwise, go on ahead. Explain what is true about marriage such that “same sex marriages” are true instances of marriage. So far you have just been going in circles repeating the same nonsense over and over. Saying something along the lines of “but they really really want their same sex relationships to be marriages” is not an argument. I get that they have wanted it, but you have yet to explain why they are right.

            Please do not accuse me of not being serious when you cannot even be bothered to defend your own position.

          • DR84,
            Yes I have answered the question. But you haven’t. You refuse to put yourself in the shoes of those whom you wish to prohibit from marrying. And you do so because of your definition of marriage–or should I say you hide behind your definition in order to keep yourself from identifying with those whom you wish to prohibit from marrying. So the conversation is over. Just realize that your position and your refusal to look at yourself and your own group in the mirror are causing people to understandably but wrongly associate Christianity with bigotry.

            When you want to discuss this subject seriously by first admiting that society isn’t bound by your definitions, then let me know.

          • DR84

            Ill take the opportunity for the last word then.

            It seems your preferred method of conversation is to first demand everyone agree with you and then to discuss. You want me to agree that a marriage can exist between people of the same sex. You also want me to agree that not recognizing these “marriages” marginalizes the, as you call it, LGBT community.

            Despite my repeated questioning, you have not established that any of these claims are true. You have not even attempted to argue for why they are true. Which is something I would be interested in. An actual answer to the question about what is true about marriage such that “same sex marriages” are true examples of a marriage (just like a committed, faithful union between husband and wife is).

            Oh, and if society is not bound by “my definitions” as you call them, then I am not bound by “societies definitions” and no one else is either. Which means we are not bound to treat two people of the same sex who have a “marriage license” as if they are actually married. You cannot have it both ways.

          • DR84,
            What you claim is my method is your approach to society regarding this topic. Rather than showing why same-sex unions can never be marriages, you claim that it is self-evident and thus society obligated to agree with you.

            Personally, I don’t care if you agree with me. What I am trying to point out is that if you are going to make your case to society, you have to back up your claim about same-sex unions by saying more than just that it is self-evident. And if you are going to live in society, then you are going to have to share it with others who think differently from you.

            Your second paragraph is false and people can read our exchanges and decide for themselves.

            Finally, persoanlly, we are not bound by social definitions. But at the points where we must interact with society, we are bound and that is because laws that govern society provide definitions with those laws if they are well written. It really comes down to how we we will share society with others. If we insist that they follow our rules, we are attempting to share society as having a privileged place over others with some degree of domination over them. If we share society with others as equals, we work together to write society’s laws with the understanding that we participate as equals. You do not favor this latter choice seeing that you insist that your definition of marriage rules out marriage for those from the LGBT community. However, their definition of marriage does not infringe on whom you wish to marry. So you seem to prefer to share society as a member of a privileged group that your rules on their lives in an inequitable manner.

            What is sad is how you fail to treat those from the LGBT community as equals despite the fact that they have helped you in life on both personal and societal levels.

          • DR84

            I actually only have claimed that lifelong monogamy is a self evident moral truth.

            Anyway, if you want to make your case to society you need to explain what is true about marriage such that “same sex marriages” are bona fide examples of marriage.

            I have already pointed out that marriage as a union of a man and woman is backed up biological truth (humans are male and female) and moral truth (human sexuality ought to be expressed only in lifelong monogamy). It also happens to be backed up by the weight of history. Marriage has, for all intents and purposes, always involved a man, a woman, some expectation of faithfulness, and some expectation the relationship would be lifelong. The concept of “same sex marriage” repudiates all these things.

            Seems to me you have your work cut out for you.

            Oh, and as long as you remain unable or uninterested in answering this question, please don’t bring up this so called LGBT community. If you can’t answer this, then you cannot possibly accurately say that marriage is ruled out for people in this so called community. Nor can you fairly accuse me of failing to treat them as equals.

          • DR84,
            The trouble you have is this, society gets to define what marriage is for its citizens. History has shown that some societies have recognized polygamous marriages, and this includes Old Testament societies, as well as monogamous marriages and even same-sex marriages. You can claim society is wrong, that is your right. But you can’t claim that societies have not recognized a variety of marriages. History has shown that that is the case.

            So now your argument rests on biological and moral truths. But here, you have no argument. You can say that a marriage is immoral, but being immoral does not disqualify the union as a marriage. That is true regardless of whether the marriage is monogamous, polygamous, heterosexual, or homosexual. You also have no biological case. There is no biological truth that says that marriage must be complementation. Yes, marriage can be that way for producing offspring, but there is no biological, or even moral, case that says marriage must produce children. Biology makes not comment on what is marriage and what isn’t. That is outside the sphere of biology.

            Again, society gets to define what marriage is for its members. You can call the decision wrong, immoral, or against the tradition of your preference if you want. But you can’t negate society’s laws by declaring that your definition of marriage is the only definition of marriage. If you decide to live in this society, society obligates you to follow its laws.

            Biblically speaking, you can’t even argue that there is no true same-sex physical union. The Scriptures that condemn homosexuality have presupposed that such a union has taken place in same-sex relationships. What does it say in Leviticus and in Romans? And that physical union, the becoming one flesh, is part of what marriage revolves around.

            So what you are really arguing about is what you can dictate to society and what you can’t. Your claims that history, biology, and morality favor your side are false. History is replete with numerous kinds of marriages. Biology carries with it no mandate on personal behavior or social constructs, which is what marriage is. In fact, if we include nature as part of biology, we find that homosexuality is present in 1,500 species and that it provides beneficial effects for the members of those species. And the moral argument depends on whose moral standards one is using. Living in pluralistic society kind of destroys your moral argument.

            So finally we return to the point that prohibiting same-sex marriage is discriminatory to the LGBT community. And unless you want to make the case that we should not treat those in that community as equal to heterosexuals, you have no argument. And that has been the problem all along. You have assertions that are not backed as you claim they are and thus you have no argument except to say that this or that is self-evident.

          • DR84

            Despite all those words you wrote out, you missed something glaring. You claim marriage is just a social construct, something defined entirely by the whims of society. Yet you also claim that not recognizing two person same sex relationships as marriages…or shall we say not socially contructing them as marriages (whatever that means)…discriminates against some LGBT community (which is left unexplained).

            Both of these claims of yours cannot be true. If marriage is just a social construct then there is simply no basis from which to determine that not constructing same sex relationships as marriages is discriminatory or treats some people unequally.

          • DR84,
            Unless you show the logic of the following statement, it will seem to me that you are just playing games:


            f marriage is just a social construct then there is simply no basis from which to determine that not constructing same sex relationships as marriages is discriminatory or treats some people unequally.

            And the LGBT community is something you need an explanation on?

          • DR84

            Hmm…perhaps you could clarify what you mean by “social construct”. I have taken that to mean something like “whatever the people in power want it to be”. With “the people in power” being basically those that can their view of marriage (or whatever else) enforced by law.

            From my understanding of this, as just a “social construct” in some society marriage could just be for homosexual relationships. In that society, a man and woman would have no basis to complain they were being treated unfairly. In another society it could be just between three brothers, and again, no one would have any grounds to complain they were being treated unfairly.

          • DP84,
            Will provide a dictionary definition for you:

            http://www.dictionary.com/browse/social-construct

            And I want to ask what specifically do you mean by ‘whims of society.’ I am not asking for a definition, I am asking for a list of what you call whims.

            In our society, the complete joining of two people that started from a romantic relationship is what is referred to as marriage. That complete joining is more than symbolized by sex, but it actually includes more than that legally speaking. That those from the LGBT community were prohibited from enjoying tat that with the person of their choice because, according to some, they weren’t worthy of it because of how they would sexually be joined is where the discrimination fits in. That is still the de facto definition for many religiously conservative Christians who want to have their definition of marriage be the definition de jure for society.

            Heterosexual marriage must be the only definition of marriage in the Church. There can be no compromise there. The Scriptures are clear about that. The question becomes this: How obligated is society to follow the Biblical definition when society consists of both Christians and nonChristians? And if we are basing the definition of marriage on some tradition outside of the Biblical definition, then how free is society to change that definition?

          • DR84

            That is quite interesting you bring up sexual joining. Can you say how people of the same sex can even sexually join (or unite)? Certainly not because one body part went into another, then by merely sticking your finger in someone’s ear means you have sexually joined with them. Nor could it pursuit of sexual gratification, because a person can do this all on their own, and saying a man can sexually join or unite with himself is nonsense.

            It is also interesting you mention “worthy” because that is a moral dimension. Which implies that the state must take a morally affirming stance on the conduct of men sexually stimulating other men (as opposed to a morally neutral stance).

          • DR84,
            According to your definition, they can’t. But if they can’t there can be no homosexual sin. The Scriptures do recognize that sexual joining does occur in homosexual relations and they speak against it.

            And I don’t know why you find my mention of the word “worthy” interesting. All the state has to do is to find same-sex relations as acceptable. Real people with real desires, both sexual and personal, want to be united with the partners of their choice who have the same gender. Tell me why the state should prohibit that.

            Then you can answer the question I’ve asked a couple of times now: What do you mean by ‘whims’ of society?

          • DR84

            I think that it is mistaken to suggest there is a contradiction here. It can both be true that two people of the same sex cannot join sexually and for homosexual conduct to be sinful. Homosexual conduct is not unitive, but it is sexually stimulating in the sense that masturbation is. What is sinful then is people of the same sex seeking to fulfill their desires for sexual stimulation/gratification together instead of in marriage.

            The reason that is interesting is simple, what business is of the state to make a moral pronouncement about the worthiness or acceptability of homosexual conduct? That seems to me to be a plain violation of the establishment clause. If you are asking why I think the state should prohibit this, the answer is that I don’t. I don’t think the state should prohibit people of the same sex from building a life together or even seeking to sexually stimulate each other. I also dont think the state should *promote* this. A tolerant, live and let live, and let people live their lives as they see fit approach is warranted here as a matter of basic freedom.

            Whims..i.e. fleeting, ever changing desires.

          • DR84,
            Unless you want to change the definition of masturbation, you are wrong. Masturbation does not include the entering of a person’s body.

            All I hear from you is your definitions ruling out what others have confirmed and what is observable. And your only defense for those definitions is that they are self-evident.

            As for whims, specifically, whatever changing desires?

          • DR84

            If that is what you hear, your reading comprehension is lacking. Which is fine, I don’t care. This internet commenting after all, maybe you just missed something. If your idea of sexual joining means sticking a finger in someone’s ear (which involves entering a person’s body), whatever. That is a very odd idea of things you have.

            I am curious what it has to do with marriage. Please explain.

            Yes, I did mention whims and changing desires to help you understand what “social construct” means to me. However, this is has been a concept you have brought into the conversation and I hope you would clarify what you mean by it. Which is what actually matters, if I am already understanding it correctly, great. If not, then it would help to have that clarity. Maybe it would help you even, perhaps it is not something you have thought trough well enough.

          • DR84,
            Again, all I hear from you is definitions ruling out what other confirmed and what is observable. And that isn’t because my comprehension is lack, it is because that is the substance of oyour argument. By your definition, regardless of the ceremony, 2 gays cannot be married to each other. Or by your definition, 2 gays can’t be united physically. Or by your definitions, gays can marry whomever they want because they are not married when they marryeach other. Should I go on?

            Again, what are the specifi whims you are referring to?

          • DR84

            What is observable and what have others confirmed? Also who are these others, and why should we think they are right?

          • DR84,
            what has been confirmed and is observable is that people have been united sexually and legally and in other ways in same-sex marriage. And the issue isn’t about what is right. Why? Whose standard of right are you using. Biology doesn’t speak to the rightness of same-sex marriage. And morality does condionally depending on whose moral standards are being employed. And Society doesn’t necessary care about the right way since we have pluralistic society.

          • DR84

            That is quite the meaningless observation there, and saying whether this is right or wrong does not matter does not help anything. If that does not matter, why do you care? You have spent some time engaging on this issue only to now say that it does not matter and we don’t have to care.

            Since you keep bringing it up, I have wondered exactly how two men can sexually unite and also two women. I hope that is something that can be answered in an appropriate way. I am also curious if you think this “sexual union” is necessary for “marriage”?

          • Dr84,
            When you say it is meaningless, you assume that your statement reflects on what you were commenting on Your statement could very well be a reflection on you and how dismissive you are with other people. You hide behind right and wrong to be calloused with other people’s life and experiences. And in that, you forget the core of Chrisitian living: love. Love does not mean rejoicing regardless of what is right and wrong. But it does means caring and showing respect for others. And quite simply, you’re too caught up with your definitions and in being right to care about those who are different. At least, that is what your words here indicate.

            You’re right, you don’t have to care. But you are commanded to love your neighbor. And love mandates that you care.

            If you want to know how two men or two women can sexually unite, why don’t you ask your friends who are gay. If you do, you’ll find that there is a world out there outside of your definitions.

            Finally, you write as if God has never forgiven you of any sins. That is how cold you are to those from the LGBT community and to how they want to live their lives. We don’t have to agree nor should we with their sexual orientation, and when the opportunity arises, we should tell them what God says about sin and tell them about the Gospel. But we are all in equal need for the forgiveness of sins. And when we look at some of Jesus’ parables, you find that having our sins forgiven should produce certain attitudes toward fellow sinners that we might not normally have.

          • DR84

            It is because of love that same sex relationships are not marriages. It is out of love that homosexual conduct is immoral. These are good things that those who love their neighbor should believe and support. I do care greatly about this.

            There is no reason for me to ask any person who identifies as gay how they “sexually unite”. I already understand basic biology. People of the same sex cannot sexually unite. It is impossible, and it is good that it is impossible. It is good that we are male and female.

            I have already expressed that homosexual conduct is a sin that we can live and let live about. God has given us the freedom to do wrong and right, and it not on us to prohibit all wrongdoing. In the end, it is about pursuing God and not about following rules.

          • DR84,
            Again, you use your definitions to deny people’s experiences. And people who deny and discount people’s experiences are not showing love.

            Let me ask this: If a person remarries after being divorced for nonbiblical reasons, is that a marriage?

            You’re right in saying that there is no reason to ask a gay person how they sexually unite. But you see, uniting in marriage is more than just sexual. So why not ask a gay person in a same-sex marriage how they feel united to their spouse?

            We’ve both expressed the idea that homosexual behavior is a sin. But if we are going to really live and let live, we will allow same-sex marriages in society? And if you do not understand why, then ask a same-esx couple why they wanted to get married.

          • DR84

            What is the relevance of the question? That relationship would have the form of a marriage, even it is not a morally permissible marriage at that moment. Whereas a relationship that lacks a man or woman simply does not even have the attributes of a marriage, it is not an immoral marriage, it is not a marriage at all. Marriage exists because humans are male and female. The very notion that a marital union can exist when either a man or woman is not involved is utter nonsense. Why would you even think otherwise? You have yet to ever explain this. This holds even if marriage is just a social construct as you have claimed (again, without explanation). Baseball is a social construct, without question (whereas marriage actually is not or this at least debatable), and you cannot play it by kicking a ball into a net. Why would you think a marriage could be “played” without the necessary ingredients, so to speak?

            Oh, and I have already said we can let two or more people of the same sex have a ceremony and call themselves “married”. We can even let siblings or corporations do this. However, we don’t have to legally and socially equate any of these with real marriages. Live and let live does not necessitate legal and social equivalence.

          • DR84,
            The relevance of the question has to do with what you wrote:


            It is because of love that same sex relationships are not marriages. It is out of love that homosexual conduct is immoral.

            You give a pass to immoral heterosexual marriages, so why is it out of love that you by definition you claim that same-sex unions can’t be marriages? It has nothing to do with morality if you can condone immoral heterosexual marriages. And it certainly isn’t out of love because morality has nothing to do with it. It all goes back to your claim that by definition, same-sex unions can’t be marriages. But, again, whose definition?

            That people exist male and female does not imply that there cannot be same-sex marriages. So why must society follow your definition of marriage?

          • DR84

            Seems I have to make this more clear. In the case of a man and woman who wish to marry but one or both are still technically married to someone else, the issue is not that they cannot form a relationship that is like a marriage, it is instead that at that moment they are ineligible to be married together. Of course, their circumstances could change such that they are eligible to marry. We do not have to condone anything they have done.

            However, with same sex relationships, they are not merely ineligible to marry each other. They cannot form the type of union together that is a marriage. The adulterous couple can, and we don’t have to condone their affair in order to recognize this. Just as we don’t have to condemn homosexual conduct in order to recognize that two men cannot form a marital union together (two or more men who do not engage in any kind of homosexual conduct can no more form a marital union than can two or more men who do).

            You keep bringing up definitions as if there is an alternative definition. If people can just make up their own “definition” then there is *no* definition. It is not that society must follow “my definition”. There is no other definition. There are no other options. If you want to take your stab at putting a definition together, by all means, give your best shot. I can assure you that it will end up just being something you stipulated to get the result you want. It will fall apart if prodded even a little.

          • DR84,
            It’s not clarity you lack, it’s lack of support for your statements. You say that there is no other definition, who says your definition is the definition. You act s if there is this universal definition and that there are no other options. But who says your definition is the definition?

            You’re correct in saying we don’t have to condone anything they’ve done. But you have not given a reason why they have to accept your definition of marriage. That the definition of marriage can change in society without the word ‘marriage’ having lost its definition. After al, this isn’t just anyone changing the definition, it is our legal system that, after careful debate, changed the definition because they felt that the new definition would be more consistent with Constitutional law. And so far, you have not given any reasons why that change was wrong ourside of your simple declaration that marriage must be between a male and a female. We see both heterosexuality and homosexuality in nature, over 1,500 species to be specific and so why not see both as fomring legitimate marital bonds in society?

          • DR84

            Again, if you think there are other definitions, by all means, explain what they are. Defend their coherency while you are at it. What are you waiting for? Is this too hard for you? Why cant you explain how homosexual conduct can be the basis of a true marital bond? What makes it “special”?

            At some point, you actually have to take a stab at explaining and defending your position. You cannot evade it forever.

      • DR84,
        Your declarataion about same-sex marriages is precisely that: your declatarion. And the fact that you prove your declaration by saying it is self-evident, makes it your declaration even more.

        You can disagree with the legalization of same-sex marriage. That is your choice. Its legalization means that society treats those unions as marriages. And your declaration can be used in consultation before the decision for legalization, but that is all it can do.

        In addition, if you choose to use your declaration to not give same-sex marriages what is legally owed them, then you can pay the cost for that. You might want to note that during Jim Crow, Blacks were not recognized as equals, or even people, people by the choice of some and that was despite court cases that prohibited discrimination. But they eventually could not continue that discrimination overtly after the law was enforced.

        Basically, you want to you use your presupposed universal definition of marriage to justify discrimination against the LGBT community just like those in South wanted to use their definition of white superiority and entitlement to deny Blacks equal treatment. You want to say that unlike Blacks, that those in the LGBT community do not deserve to be treated as equals. And thus you want a degree of hierarchy where heterosexuals have certain privileges over those in the LGBT community.

        So realize what you are associating the Christian faith with when you presse your position here. When you deny treating those in the LGBT community as equals, you are associating discrimination and even attempts to marginalize those in the LGBT community with the Christian Faith. And if you could look outside your own small world, you would realize thist what I am saying is true.

        However, one can disagree and even say that same-sex relationships are wrong without pressing your position and without marginalizing those in the LGBT community. We have the freedom to do that. What we can’t do is to deny equal treatment to those in the LGBT community regarding what is legally owed to them in society nor should we want to.

        The only way you can deny that deny that your position bears strong similarities to parts of Jim Crow is your personal definition of marriage that you have declared is universal for society but have defended it by claiming it is self-evident. Apparently, you don’t know how democratic societies work nor do you know how to interact with one.

        • DR84

          What is legally owed so called same sex marriages?

          • DR84,
            I wrote the following:


            What we can’t do is to deny equal treatment to those in the LGBT community regarding what is legally owed to them in society nor should we want to.

            So what is your question referring to?

  • wmrharris

    The intertwined nature of church and realm in the UK make their politics far different than that in the United States. A better model of a possible future would be that of Canada.

    On the broader note, it is not the explicitness of the Christian testimony that is likely to shape policy as it is the lived lives with our neighbors. This is where the Benedict Option goes most off track. If our neighbors only know us by or cultural distinctions, then the ability to impact culture shrinks. Rather, it is the working alongside, the sharing of the same spaces (yes, this means the schools) that helps build the trust and common vision that is the true guardian of rights.

  • If, and that’s a big if, admittedly, but if those definitions of extremism currently believed by American adults are allowed to be unchallenged and take root on a broader level, then it is not hard to imagine future legislative actions in America that mirror those in the UK.

    How do you get much more broad than 80%? “There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them.” –Garet Garrett

    The question is: How do we live now?