Okay you backward, hateful, discriminatory, bigoted Christians, stop trying to impose your archaic views of sex on the rest of culture.  Believe what you want to believe (for now).  Just go inside your churches and shut up.  You aren’t welcome here.  In fact, with the right President and Supreme Court appointment, your days are numbered.  The “next generation” is way past your hateful views on sex and marriage.  There’s no turning back. 

Now that we have the secular left’s talking point against religious freedom out of the way, wouldn’t it be great to find a way to have an honest, open discussion about what religious freedom really is?  Can we have a dialogue about how to protect conscience rights in a culture that no longer views traditional sexual ethics as simply outdated and laughable, but now sees them as threatening, demeaning, and hateful?  Can we put aside the inflammatory rhetoric and find a way forward that balances the First Amendment’s protection of the “free exercise” of religion with the newly discovered “right” to the government’s stamp of approval on any and every lifestyle except a religious one? 

No, we clearly cannot.  Based on the media and editorial pages’ response to the Virginia House of Delegate’s passage of the Government Non-Discrimination Act (HB 773), not to mention the shameful rhetoric of more than a few lawmakers, there certainly is no room in our Commonwealth for honest debate and conversation, let alone accommodation.  That’s no surprise.  It’s the state of our culture.  Ironically, in a nation where many see secular moral relativism, little is actually relative (welcome to post-modernism).  If you don’t accept the new sexual dogma, you are demeaned, scoffed at, threatened, humiliated and rhetorically attacked.  The truth is there is a moral absolute in American culture – the absolute of sexual “self-actualization” – and the absolute of bullied adherence to it.

Much about the current debate over religious freedom is frustrating.  The misinformation, the lack of honesty by the media, the cowardice of too many lawmakers, the hate mongering by the left, etc.  But one element of the response to GNDA and any other effort to defend religious freedom that is most depressing is this: the absolute belief by the secular left and much of our culture that Christians who believe in Biblical sexual ethics just can’t wait to be able to discriminate against anyone and everyone who doesn’t see things their way. 

Sadly, despite no evidence of this egregious and widespread discrimination, it is what many seem to believe will happen.  Yet, even where there are currently no laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation/gender identity there is little evidence of discrimination.  That’s not to say it doesn’t exist in isolated incidents (you can find isolated incidents of just about anything), but the idea of systematic, widespread, even sporadic discrimination just doesn’t exist.   

Despite the inflammatory rhetoric of the left, most Christians/conservatives have no interest in discriminating against anyone.  Disagree with sexual lifestyles that violate their concepts of sexual ethics?  Sure.  Believe our culture is slipping rapidly into sexual oblivion?  Absolutely.  Dislike the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage?  No kidding. 

But disagreement and even dislike of particular lifestyles doesn’t translate into discrimination. 

Unfortunately, there will be no honest debate or dialogue on this issue in Virginia.  Not this year, anyway, and not likely anytime in the near future.  The hysterical rhetoric of the secular left is already in overdrive.  It’s worked before, it’ll likely work again.  Reason, thoughtful analysis and conversation are not part of the equation.

Hysteria wins.  The Constitution and freedom lose.