Growing up, it was not unusual to find yourself in a harmless scuffle with a friend or sibling. Why the wrestling match started could be attributed to any one of a number of playground offenses or slights. Back “in the day” when such things were generally innocuous and the normal rite of passage for kids, the match would only end when someone said “uncle”. The word “uncle” was the universal sound of surrender. What it meant was that you wanted the match to be over. You were ready to let go of whatever it was that got you in this scuffle in the beginning.
I want to suggest that it is time for the Indiana GOP to say “uncle” with regards to pursuing SOGI legislation.
From the beginning of this whole legislative debacle, the GOP has taken its hits from the most loyal of constituencies, the conservative Christian community. It has confused many of us as to why the leadership would go out of it’s way to alienate a consistently solid support base.
To hear GOP leaders like Senators Long and Holdman, along with Speaker Bosma, quip flippantly that SOGI legislation is “inevitable” is disturbing for many Christian business people. Add on top of that, Senator Hershman’s view that we are “self-appointed experts and arrogant activists” is incredibly disconcerting and patronizing coming from those who are supposedly our friends.
All of this, mind you, was spoken after the Indiana Christian Community flooded the Statehouse with emails, voice mails, and large rallies. One would think that if these people truly were politically astute they would let this legislation go and move on to more important topics than trying to figure out who could practice their faith in their personal businesses and where that faith geographically could be expressed. One would think that after the backlash of their most energized base they would simply retreat and learn the lessons of this battle. Apparently, nothing could be further from the truth.
So, what are concerned Christian people to do about maintaining their Religious Liberty?
We maintain an unrelenting pressure on the GOP until they cry “uncle”.
We must maintain our vigilance in communication, primary those who seek to isolate our faith only to the church property, and refuse to vote for those who think they can dictate where and when our faith can be exercised. It is time for some of these politicians to cry “uncle”. It is time for them to take our concerns seriously and realize that SOGI legislation will be toxic to their political careers. It is time for them to apologize for betraying their friends and supporters. It is time for them to understand that we are not going away, but if necessary we will mobilize and multiply our efforts in an exponential way.
You see, what politicians are counting on, is that they can exploit and manipulate the Christian’s charitable disposition. They have, in the past, been able to convolute and twist what little Scripture they know to back us in a corner of thinking we are somehow “unloving” or “intolerant”.
That day is ending.
Pastors are becoming mobilized and activated to articulate the “whole counsel of God” and the “fullness of the Scriptures”. We are teaching our people to stand and not wilt under false accusation and twisted hermeneutics. We will be tolerant of all and maintain a right spirit and good disposition, but we will not yield an inch when it comes to the seriousness and passion of our faith. Government is not God and if our civic leaders force us to choose between the two, then these will indeed be tumultuous times.
This recent “win” we have experienced with regards to the removal of SB344 was indeed needed and an encouragement.
Enjoy the fruits of success.
Many of you deserve it. However, don’t think for a moment this is over. Don’t put your shirts or signs away. The sounds that I am hearing…2016 was only round one. We must respond for round two and this is the moment for our GOP friends to cry…”uncle”.