Government overreach extends into churches

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Obama administration's constant overreach of the federal government continues unabated.

The overreach is threatening our military with transgender mandates and the removal of all religious themes within the military. The overreach is threatening our education system with federal programs like Common Core. The overreach poses serious threats to our First Amendment rights. And as everyone knows, the overreach threatens to remove guns from the hands of citizens in yet another violation of the Constitution.

The list goes on and on.

And now the church - arguably the core foundation of this great nation - too is coming under the federal overreach.

Here's how it starts.

In Iowa, of all places, gay rights organizations are attempting to use a 2007 Civil Rights law in that state, to prohibit churches and their pastors from speaking out against the gay rights movement.

The law basically says that there can be no discrimination either in words or actions against the movement for gay inclusion in virtually all aspects of our lives.

As interpreted by the gay rights organization, churches would be forced to open their restrooms, as an example, to the gender identified by a person and not necessarily their biological gender.

The gay rights group says in court that would apply to any function - youth activity, food banks, etc. - conducted by the church.

But they take it one step beyond when they opine in court that church services open to the public would also face these same restrictions on free speech from the pulpit in opposition to the gay rights movement.

The fear - and it's a real one - is that if upheld, the Iowa law could become the law of the land and churches would be forced to abandon their closely-held religious beliefs in an open church service.

A study of the issue reveals that there is general agreement that purely religious services are not bound by the 2007 regulations.

But the civil rights group argues that open church services should fall within that prohibition and that's the case they're making in court.

If you think gun control is a hot-potato subject just wait until pastors are forced to remain silent on religious-based issues.

I cannot imagine any court in any area would rule in favor of this latest federal government overreach.

But more importantly, I cannot imagine a minister who would temper his tongue on biblical issues to appease some overreaching mandate.

The chief counsel for the churches struck an ominous tone in discussing the issue.

"This is an unprecedented move by a government agency to mandate that anytime a church opens its doors to the public that it automatically qualified as a place of public accommodation. And this is just the tip of the iceberg."

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