In the second segment of this morning’s podcast, Al Mohler decried the government’s violation of religious liberty where the individual consciences of medical practitioners in matters of euthanasia are being overruled – or on the way to being overruled. Yet he had just finished reporting in the first segment how lawyer Jonathan Turley had succeeded in getting a Utah judge to strike down the state’s law against polygamy on the basis of…religious freedom! That is, Turley successfully argued that the laws against polygamy infringed on the religious rights of polygamists. Thus the argument for religious liberty can be used both for and against the cause of righteousness.
Religious liberty is, therefore, not a theme that we as Christians should be employing. I know the Southern Baptists have their Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, but they’d be better off if it were just the Ethics Commission. We must seek to convince our fellow members of this democracy of the rightness of our positions. Invoking religious liberty is merely seeking exemption from their persecution of us, and opens the door wide to foolishness like the Utah decision.
Whether it’s euthanasia, abortion, or the redefinition of marriage, the point is not that our unbelieving countrymen should allow us to abstain from participation in their activities without penalty, but rather that these things are wrong – and that they are destructive to all who participate in them, whether they are believers in Christ or not. Can we stop people from engaging in these activities? No, but we can refuse to participate with them while maintaining the position that these activities are wrong no matter what the personal cost is to us in continuing to say so.