The American Dilemma

In 2016 I shut my classroom door for the final time, choosing to leave a dream job and face an uncertain financial future because of my faith.

The school district I worked for at the time launched a new inclusive policy which mandated that transgender students be addressed by the pronoun of their choice. As a Christian, I said “no.”

When I asked our school administrator “what protections do we have, as teachers, so we’re not forced to choose between our jobs and our faith?” the answer I received was, “That’s a choice you’ll have to make.”

I left.

But I couldn’t leave the hurt, the inner confusion or the depression behind as easily as I had left my classroom. Teachers make bonds that no one but another teacher could understand. And I made those bonds, even with students whose lifestyles I could not agree with.  It took two years of prayer and internal struggle before I finally reached the point that I could move on with my life.

As the only income provider for my family, leaving was a huge decision to make. I knew that I wasn’t just stepping away from a job; I was walking away from a career—a career that had cost me endless sacrifice and thousands of dollars in student debt. But my wife and I agreed that following God is more important than anything of this world. So we took that leap of faith and God didn’t let us down.

I write this post now, not for recrimination or for any selfish motive. Taking advantage of what freedoms still remain (AKA the First Amendment) I write to address the American dilemma.

As a nation, the United States of America must decide if it wants to continue to be a democracy, a beacon of hope for all,  or if it will continue its rapid descent into tyranny. 

This is the American dilemma: what happens when the freedoms of the past do not allow the agenda of the future to move forward? Whose rights shall society take away?

Moving beyond America’s past, which is saturated with Judeo-Christian influence that many find convenient to ignore, let us think about this nation’s future.

If America intends to stand for justice, then those who do not subscribe to the tenets of the GLBTQ community must be free to practice their faith within and without the public sphere without fear of lawsuits or other forms of harassment. The ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must not apply only to those who are “Susie” today and want to be “John” tomorrow. They must apply to ALL including teachers, public professionals and… cakemakers.

The chief irony is that, in the name of tolerance, the government and society practice intolerance—an intolerance of all who do not share their beliefs. In the name of freedom, they strip the individual of the liberty to live by his/her convictions.

I encourage Christians everywhere to stand your ground, doing what is Scripturally right in the face of opposition. Be vocal in standing for the rights for which millions of your American forefathers died. When we give in to the pressure, it shows that we aren’t the Christians we claim to be.

I do not endorse violence or any form of abuse against the GLBTQ community, or anyone for that matter. But I ask if Christians bow down to the darkness, who then will show the light?

It is unlikely that those in power will change their political agendas, nor do I believe that those in society who support these lifestyles will change their views. Scripture must be fulfilled.

But if Christians are to be representatives of Jesus Christ, each individual that calls his/herself a Christian must be willing to stand up for what is right… everywhere, at all times, regardless of the cost.

Moving beyond Christianity, the essential question here is one of liberty. Regardless of religion, each American should agree with the concept that we can disagree and still function as a society. But this is not what is happening.

In the face of nationwide teacher shortages, teachers who hold their convictions dear are told to “bow or leave.” Others are sued while still others become the victims of hate mail and threats. Where is the American approach of “agreeing to disagree?”

Truly, as the Bible says, the days of Sodom and Gomorrah have returned (Luke 17:30). In those cities, those who opposed the homosexual movements became the targets of violence and hatred (see Genesis 19).

The American dilemma is real and, in light of Scripture, I fear that this nation will make the wrong choice. Early in our nation’s history, the Liberty Bell cracked beyond repair. Could that event foreshadow a time when liberty would fail to exist in the “land of the free, the home of the brave?”

Live courageously,
JPR

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