I’m showing my age when I say I remember a new cigarette bursting onto the scene that targeted women — Virginia Slims. Its slogan was “You’ve come a long way, baby!” A bill filed last week in Congress was a sure sign of how far we’ve come in America in terms of the sexual revolution and the revolution against religious liberty. The question, however, is not just how far have we come, but what is our destination and when will we arrive?
The bill was the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133). Introduced by Representative Raul Labrador (R–ID), it has over 60 co-sponsors from both political parties. Its purpose is to prevent the federal government from discriminating against citizens and organizations that believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
When you consider that we’ve gone from civil government promoting and protecting marriage to having to protect marriage from civil government, well, in the words of that old commercial, we’ve come a long way, baby.
Some will scoff at the proposal, thinking it is the product of paranoia by the Christian right. But they are wrong.
California, for example, was on the verge of passing a bill that would have stripped tax-exempt status from groups such as the Boy Scouts because of their policies on sexual orientation. While the bill was eventually tabled this fall in the California House, it passed the state Senate overwhelmingly, 27–9. Other examples exist in Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and elsewhere.
How far we have come from the days of our founding when the liberty most cherished was that of religion. Now we’re increasingly told that religious liberty must give way to a new kind of liberty – liberty for the sake of liberty. We are foolish if we think that kind of liberty can reach any destination other than chaos and a totalitarian regime.
As morality abates, Leviathan awaits. Almost daily we read new revelations regarding the totalitarian practices of the Internal Revenue Service and NSA. New rules are developed to require a government-approved level of diversity in housing communities. A school system reaches into a child’s very own front yard to suspend him for playing with a toy gun because he happened to be waiting for the school bus.
Our destination seems clear unless a new course can be charted. Can that be done?
Yes, but it will take more courage by more of us. Unfortunately, the amount of courage one has seems to vary inversely with how much one has to lose. And in our materialistic society, a lot of us have a lot we don’t want to lose.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn said it this way:
“To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being. Nothing is left, then, but concessions, attempts to gain time and betrayal.”
I don’t know about you, but that seems to describe what I see in Congress and, sadly, in much of the modern church. The one has betrayed its people, the other its God, and both hold onto what they have for as long as they can.
Yes, Americans, we have come a long way. And unless our leaders can find some courage or we, the people, have the courage to change our leaders, it will only be a little while longer until we’ve gone as far as we can go.