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Conservatives: Now is the Time for Moral Courage

Richard A Viguerie CHQ Chairman

The news that Indiana Governor Mike Pence has caved-in to the radical homosexual lobby and is readying amendments to Indiana’s just-passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has demanded changes to a similar bill that just passed both houses of that state’s legislature, has provoked a predictable storm of outrage on the right.

But the betrayal of conservative principles, and their conservative supporters, by two elected officials who sold themselves to the public as limited government constitutional conservatives and supporters of traditional values really should not come as a surprise to conservatives.

The cowardly and regrettable retreat of Pence and Hutchinson in the face of pressure from the radical homosexual lobby is indicative of a problem we face throughout our culture, and especially in the conservative movement, and that is a lack of moral courage in the face of pressure from those who seek to destroy our culture, our rule of law, and our liberty – those things that have kept secure the God-given rights exercised by those who seek to make America weaker and less exceptional.   .

National conservative organizations are great at dissecting the Constitution and issuing scholarly papers explaining why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is constitutional. But how many of them are willing to say that using government to compel a Believer to act against his or her religious scruples is not just unconstitutional – it is wrong and immoral.

Who among the thousands who read this column is going to stand-up in their church, write a letter to the editor, or speak out at their Saturday morning coffee klatch and say it is not just unconstitutional, but wrong, to use the power of government to compel a Believer to violate the tenets of his or her faith?

If we Christians won’t stand up and say we refuse to be compelled, and that we stand only with those who are willing to put their political careers on the line to defend us, what should we expect from elected officials like Governors Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson, two conservatives who have used the goodness of their Christian faith to guide them on so many other policy issues?

Pence and Hutchinson are not the problem; they are symptoms of a deeper rot affecting this country and our culture that is poisoning more than just the future of Freedom of Religion Restoration legislation in Indiana and Arkansas.

When we, as a country and as a culture, accept that there are no absolutes, that there is no right and wrong, and that everything is a subject of negotiation and debate, then we get elected officials, like Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson, who reflect that culture by compromising with it.  We are complicit in the loss of our religious liberty unless each of us has the courage to take a stand.

Friends, we Believers are in a war. Whether we like or want it, it is upon us.

We find it in the vicious enthusiasm of radical homosexuals to use the power of government to compel Christians to participate in their “marriages,” we find it in the labeling of unborn children as mere commodities to be disposed of upon a parent’s whim, and we see it in the march of foreign ideologies that would extinguish our constitutional liberties in favor of submission to a system of terror that seeks to extinguish the light of human progress as we in the West have pursued it for some 2000 years.

The Bible in Luke 12:49-53 records that Jesus tells us there is only one way to win this war, and that is to start first in our own household: 

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.”

We conservatives need to look to ourselves and our households to win this war of ideals within this land founded upon the notions that liberals would destroy, and that compromising leaders on the right would concede – and for what purpose?  To win the next election to compromise our liberties again?.  

If we don’t stick to the Word that Christ laid before us, if we don’t stand-up and say compelling Christians and other Believers to participate in same-sex “marriages” is wrong, if we don’t set ourselves at variance with those who lack moral courage, we are going to lose.

And to Asa Hutchinson and Mike Pence, two good men who know how to communicate, I say, if you do not articulate the correctness of Judeo-Christian principles regarding marriage, and you believe you cannot today stand before your voters and let them know that you understand right from wrong, then I pray that God will give you the courage and wisdom to do so.

As Passover, Good Friday and Easter approach I urge each of you to be bold for good, to take this oft overlooked message to heart – know that good and evil do exist, and God is not neutral between them – set yourself at variance with those who lack the moral courage to see that, and prepare your household to win this war that has been declared on us.

Each of us is called, and each of us must be a leader in this war on religious freedom.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15   

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Time for Moral Courage - Indiana RFRA

Thank you for speaking to this issue. Many of us have stood with Gov Pence on this issue from the beginning. I certainly have! And YES - IT TAKES MORAL COURAGE to stand up to the culture and the media and do the right thing. That is what Pence did. He is NOT the one who needs to be scourged on this Holy Week. It is those who name the Name of Christ but do nothing to uphold biblical truth in our culture or support those like Pence who do. It is those of the Media (including FOX) who are pandering to political correctness (like Judge Napolitano today on Stew Varney), speaking total non-sense with a sense of self-righteous authority. It is Republican lawmakers and members, who, like I heard Stephen Moore say yesterday in Roanoke, "prove they are pro-life by always being in a fetal position" on matters of importance. It is critical that we stand together and individually to keep and pass on to future generations religious freedom.