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Freedom of Religion Trumped by Gay Rights?

It started as a drip, drip, drip. Then the flow increased, and now it’s a gusher: The Obama administration has decided to promote and emphasize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered rights — and it is doing so at the expense of everyone’s God-given freedom of religion.

Those are tough words, but regrettably, true words.

In December 9, 2009, in a major address entitled, “Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century,” Secretary of State Clinton said people “must be free to worship, associate, and to love in the way that they choose.”

Did you catch that? In one sentence, little noticed at the time, Mrs. Clinton showed the administration’s true priorities. In one fell swoop, she changed our God-given right to freedom of religion, a public act, to a much more restricted “freedom of worship,” a private act, which any Chinese official could go along with. And at the same time, Mrs. Clinton, speaking for the administration, elevated the quote “right to love in the way they choose” as a fundamental human right.

Lest you think I’m overreacting to an isolated statement, the intervening years have amply borne out my concerns.

Freedom of worship has been substituted for freedom of religion in speech after speech by administration officials. Just last month, the Secretary told a gathering of diplomats that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” She also said the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” As I mentioned before on BreakPoint, this is a disastrous foreign policy. African nations are already up in arms, and it certainly isn’t going to help us with Muslim nations, who view U.S. advocacy for homosexuality as proof of Western decadence.

Not to be outdone, President Obama told a pro-gay-rights group, “Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally before the law.”

Does that include marriage? Well, the president’s secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, has just said that he “absolutely” supports same-sex marriage. The administration has already refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. And before the EEOC, officials have said in a contest “between religious liberty and sexual liberty,” sexual liberty triumphs.

Can you see where all this is headed?

But how, you might ask, does elevating so-called LGBT rights actually threaten religious rights? Well, as Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has said, framing homosexual marriage as a civil right equates those who oppose it with those who practice either “intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination.”

Dolan is predicting “a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.” Friends, no one wants to oppress gays, but what happens to Christians’ right to practice our religion, which does not allow us to accept “gay marriage”?

That’s why I am urging you, and everyone you know, to sign the Manhattan Declaration, which takes a bold stand for religious freedom and traditional marriage. Do it today:

Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.

Publication dateJanuary 17, 2012

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