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Vol.  9  No. 9 September 2007  Page 6
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Louis Rushmore

Editorial

That Dirty 10-Letter Word!

By Louis Rushmore, Editor

    A dictionary definition for “dirty word” is “a word, expression, or idea that is disagreeable or unpopular in a particular frame of reference” (Merriam-Webster). Usually, dirty words are vulgar, profane or swear words (cussing). So-called dirty words are not appropriate for polite company, or really under any circumstances, anywhere. Apparently, many dirty words share the characteristic also of being four-letter words. We decline to illustrate because some things ought not to be verbalized, audibly or in writing (Ephesians 4:29; 1 Timothy 5:13); it is a “shame” even to speak some things (Ephesians 5:12).

    However, do you know about the dirty 10-letter word? That dirty 10-letter word is “conviction.” The word “conviction” is “disagreeable or unpopular in a particular frame of reference”—contemporary society that stands for nothing, except that no one is allowed to stand for anything. Essentially, beyond running amok of the social norm of today, attempts to make laws to outlaw conviction seriously threaten personal liberties and religious expression.

    Consider this case in point. Federal law prohibits “discrimination” in housing rentals or purchases based on race, color, sex, family status (having minor children), disability, national origin or religion. Several states (California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin) as well as several cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Seattle) amend Federal law to include restrictions from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (whether one is homosexual or heterosexual) (“Renter’s Rights”). Landlords are legally forbidden to exercise any religious convictions they may have that oppose contributing to sinful cohabitation (e.g., fornication, homosexuality). “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” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV).

    Consider another case in point. On June 27, 2007, the Maryland State Board of Education overruled all opposition to the implementation of sex education in Montgomery County’s middle and high schools that promotes homosexuality as acceptable sexual orientation, while at the same time denying opportunity respecting any counter viewpoints. In part, the 17-page decision states that the parental “right is not absolute. It must bend to the State’s duty to educate its citizens” (de Vise). This recent episode is typical of an increasing number of school districts throughout the United States. Parents are legally disadvantaged to exercise any religious convictions they may have that oppose sinful behavior, which if not taught to their children if they restrict them from the offending instruction, promotes the sinful behavior of homosexuality among their children’s peers. “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’ Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34 NKJV).

    Consider another case in point. A bill in the US Congress has as a part of it an amendment to hate crime laws to include saying anything in opposition to homosexuality (Unruh). Even without a Federal law adding speech contrary to homosexuality to hate crime laws, Americans are already being arrested, fined, imprisoned and facing court-ordered re-education.

Madison, Wisconsin. David Ott, a former homosexual, was arrested for a “hate crime” for sharing his testimony with a homosexual at a gas station. He faced a $10,000 fine and one year behind bars. Seven thousand dollars in legal fees later, [he] was ordered to attend re-education classes at the University of Wisconsin conducted by a lesbian. St. Petersburg, Florida. Five Christians including two pastors were arrested at a homosexual rally for stepping onto the public sidewalk instead [of] staying caged in their officially designated “free speech zone.” Elmira, New York. The Elmira police arrested seven Christians for praying in a public park where a homosexual festival was getting started. Crystal Lake, Illinois. Two 16 year old girls are facing felony “hate crime” charges for the content of their flyers. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Arlene Elshinnawy, a 75-year-old grandmother of three, and Linda Beckman, a 70-year-old grandmother of 10 (along with nine others), were arrested for sharing their faith on the public sidewalk. (Unruh)

    Who else will fall victim to the trend in America to criminalize religious conviction against homosexuality: authors, radio speakers, ministers, any Bible believer. Back in 2004, Canada already criminalized all opposition to homosexuality through the enactment of Federal law (“Bible as Hate Speech”). “A pastor in Europe already has served a prison term for preaching that the Bible condemns homosexuality” (Unruh). The day may well come in the not too distant future when the Bible itself will be outlawed in the United States of America because it uniformly in both testaments condemns homosexuality as sinful. What will Christians do? “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29-30 NKJV).

    Conviction is truly a dirty 10-letter word! Especially the churches of Christ function in all areas upon the basis of religious conviction, which relates directly to the absolute, unchanging religious authority of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). What are we to do? This religious conviction distinguishes faithful congregations and Christians from others who worship with instrumental music (Ephesians 5:19), who adopt the clergy (Matthew 23:8-10), who organize themselves above the congregational level into ecclesiastical hierarchies (Acts 14:23), who periodically vote to change doctrine (Jude 3 ASV), etc. Not long after it was established, Christianity became an unlawful religion, and Christians who refused to worship the Roman Emperor were guilty of the double crimes of treason and atheism (for not worshipping the state religion). “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 KJV).

Works Cited

“Bible as Hate Speech Signed into Law.” WorldNetDaily 30 April 2004. 2 Aug. 2007. <http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38268>.

de Vise, Daniel. “Md. State Board Approves County’s Sex-Ed Curriculum.” Washington Post 4 July 2007. 2 Aug. 2007 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/03/AR2007070300991.html>.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 10th ed. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1993. CD-ROM. Seattle: Logos, 1996.

“Renter’s Rights Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination.” FindLaw. 2 Aug. 2007 <http://realestate.findlaw.com/tenant/tenant-fair-housing/tenant-fair-housing-orientation.html>.

Unruh, Bob. “Kennedy Cramming Hate Crimes into Defense Bill.” WorldNetDaily 17 July 2007. 2 Aug. 2007 <http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56702>.
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