Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Is the Bible Hate Speech?

Image A while back a Canadian man was convicted of a hate crime. He was arrested for passing out flyers in two towns in Ontario, objecting to the recommendation made by a local school board that homosexuality be included in the school curriculum. He specifically referred to the inappropriateness of teaching school age children about sodomy, and cited 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

The case went to the Supreme Court, where his conviction was upheld. The court noted that in using the reference in 1 Corinthians, the man was specifically targeting a group (homosexuals), which violated the hate crimes legislation currently law in Canada.

Note the following quote from the ruling:

“[Whatcott’s] expression portrays the targeted group as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, makes reference to respected sources (in this case the Bible) to lend credibility to the negative generalizations, and uses vilifying and derogatory representations to create a tone of hatred…”

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling, and specifically referenced the following observation:

“While the courts cannot be drawn into the business of attempting to authoritatively interpret sacred texts such as the Bible, those texts will typically have characteristics which cannot be ignored if they are to be properly assessed in relation to … the [Hate Crimes] Code.”

In Canada it is becoming clear that speech which specifically condemns homosexuality will not be tolerated, even if that speech comes directly from the Bible. This infringement upon the freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion is disturbing. As is the fact that the truth has been so roundly rejected by men in our time.

Because of the ruling, the man is now required to pay $7500 to two homosexuals who were offended by his flyers, and to pay the legal fees of the “Human Rights Commission” which will most probably run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Similar things are happening on the state level here in the United States. For example, a photographer in New Mexico was forced to pay $700 in fines for refusing to shoot a same-sex commitment service. A Bed-and-Breakfast in Vermont was sued and settled out of court when they refused to hold a similar event on their property. A t-shirt screening company was punished for refusing to supply shirts for a gay-rights parade. (Note: Source material for this article taken from an article by Heather Clark at christiannews.net, titled: “Canadian Supreme Court Rules Biblical Speech Opposing Homosexual Behavior a ‘Hate Crime’”).

It is obvious that the world we live in is becoming more and more hostile to our faith. We preach against homosexuality, because God reveals it to be sin. The Supreme Court of Canada says that such condemnation of the behavior constitutes “an effort to mask the true target, the vulnerable group.” As such, the court determined “this distinction should not serve to avoid [the hate-crime clause of the Code].” In other words, in the eyes of that court, it is not legitimate to distinguish between the behavior and the person. If we are hating the sin, they say, we are hating the person doing the sinning. The logical end would to be outlaw any condemnation of any action. Of course, there is nothing logical about any of this. In the face of such ungodliness, we must remain true to our God. “‘If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!’ Says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 18:9).