Dear brothers, some of you may have heard about the hate crimes bills being debated in the Indiana legislature. Maybe I’m the only one who has struggled to think clearly regarding these things, but just in case I’m not, let me lay out what I think is true and what I think should be done regarding it.
Who’s pushing for this?
Governor Holcomb wants this legislation. He thinks if we appease those pushing for this they’ll leave us alone.
A pile of Indiana businesses are calling for it, from Salesforce on down.
Universities are calling for it, even Christian universities like Indiana Wesleyan University and Anderson University. IU is, but not Purdue.
As you would expect, some liberal churches are calling for it too.
Not what it appears to be
To take the legislation at face value is naive. This is not about protecting people from property damage. This is about silencing opposition to homosexual perversion and other related perversions.
We see this in Canada, where the effect of hate crimes laws and policies on punishing Christians has a well established track record (not even to mention the ongoing shameful mistreatment of Bill Whatcott in the Canada courts – read the Supreme Court of Canada decision and see the faithful gospel preaching they call criminal).
We see many examples of this in the UK as well, with police investigations for “misgendering”, arrest for saying in public that homosexuality is a sin, and loss of custody when the parents oppose the child’s rejection of his God-given sex (this has happened in Ohio as well).
A pastor in Sweden had a long court battle over preaching against homosexuality as a cancerous tumor and agreed to stop speaking of these things.
The point is, this type of legislation has a history, and it’s a bad one. This type of wickedness masquerading as love should be seen for what it is, and opposed. What’s hateful and lacking in love is to throw up barriers to the condemnation of sin and the calling souls to repentance that’s absolutely essential in loving gays, transsexuals, and all kinds of others who are currently slaves of sin. (In its deceptiveness and effects this hate crimes legislation is very similar to the reparative therapy bans we’ve also been seeing sprouting up various places.)
In Indiana we currently have SB 12 and SB 198 going. SB 198 could get to conference committee as soon as next week (though amendments can be tacked on to any other bill at any time also). Both now and long term, we need to teach the civil magistrate his duty and call him to oppose evil, not support it under false pretenses.
And by the way, calling men to repentance can never be criminalized, because the Lord of heaven and earth, to Whom all authority has been given, has declared, “…against such there is no law.” So we work with a happy heart and a clean conscience, trusting the Lord of the harvest to show us the joy of seeing many souls in heaven of which it will be said, “Such were some of you…”