Friday, October 17, over 500 of you joined us at the Boston Marriott for a tremendous evening of celebrating our shared family values and the work we do together to promote and defend those values here in Massachusetts. Our guest speaker, Eric Metaxas, offered hope but also issued a clear warning. Last week, Metaxas observed, a line was crossed in America that should wake up every church in the nation. He was speaking, of course, about the Mayor of Houston demanding that local pastors submit any sermons or emails dealing with homosexuality or ‘gender identity’ to her office. This is a clear violation of our Constitution’s First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion. Fortunately, pastors and attorneys in Houston and people of faith all over the country are not being silent about this outrage. They are sending the Mayor, a ‘married’ lesbian who has made the local transgender bathroom bill her major priority, thousands of sermons, Bibles, and copies of the Constitution.
If you weren’t able to attend last Friday, you can hear both Eric’s speech and my address by clicking on the images below:
We may be tempted to ignore what is happening in far off Houston, but we must understand that the same tactics of intimidation and illegal government coercion are already happening right here in MA. The pastors in Houston had two of their First Amendment freedoms violated, speech and religion. This summer, in Salem, MA, the mayor of that city violated these First Amendment rights, as well as one that is often overlooked; the right to petition the government. Gordon College’s President Michael Lindsay had done just that in a letter to President Obama, asking that the President protect the religious liberty of Christian institutions. The Mayor of Salem, who also had made her city’s bathroom bill a priority, lashed out at Gordon and started a wave of local cities cutting their ties with the school. However, unlike the firm and vocal response of faith leaders in Houston, many local pastors in Massachusetts have stayed silent. As Eric warned us last Friday night, the church must wake up now to these attacks on religious liberty or there will be no church left. If these examples weren’t troubling enough, over the weekend news broke that two pastors in Idaho are facing a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate a same-sex wedding!
I’m happy to say that a number of local pastors are beginning to speak prophetically on the issue of religious liberty, including two sermons I had the privilege of hearing over the weekend. I know there will be more this Sunday. Make sure your pastors are aware of what’s going on, and let them know that you want to hear from them on this issue. Encourage them to watch Eric’s speech and explore the free legal resources available from our national partners at Alliance Defending Freedom. If they have questions, have them call us at MFI. We’re ready to help.