The Beginning was Awhile Ago

no_freaking_outWhat of California Senate Bill 1146?

Here’s a link that emphasizes what I have been warning about for sometime. There will be repercussions for maintaining a conservative view of gender. The first hint has been in the marketplace. Businesses that have demurred when asked to participate in certain activities that they find objectionable have been penalized for their decision. The next arena, it would appear, is education. The government, in order to be consistently non-discriminatory, will need to seek to withhold tax benefits from institutions that “discriminate,” i.e., religious colleges and universities. The result will be that students who need grants or loans in order to attend college, will have to choose a school that maintains a government approved orthodoxy.

This is intent of a bill before the California legislature. It looks like it may not pass. But the question is, how long will it be before such bills gain the support they need? The trajectory of law seems to be shifting.

In doesn’t take much imagination to see the next steps. If tax benefits can be withheld from religious colleges, are we far from similar consequences for churches who, according to developing cultural attitudes, are discriminatory? When that happens, how many churches will be able to go forward “business as usual?” When church properties join the tax rolls, how many congregations will be able to survive? When salaries of clergy are taxed at the going rate, how many will be able to continue working?

You get the idea. This is our future. I am not saying that we should rise up in outrage. I doubt it would do much good. What I am saying is we must get ready to be the church without help from Uncle Sam. To do that may require guts and creativity, but I’m betting we can expect a little help from heavenly places.

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