The Gay Agenda vs. Religious Freedom

A story broke yesterday that dropped my jaw and I am still trying to get it back in place. Todd Starnes, a Fox News contributor, wrote that the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission of Hutchinson, Kansas has proposed a very interesting mandate that flies in the face of religious freedom. This is what he wrote:

According to the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, churches that rent out their buildings to the general public would not be allowed to discriminate ‘against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.’

Apparently, churches have discriminated against a tiny section of the population by not allowing their own buildings to be used for events against their religious beliefs. This story may seem very insignificant because it is one city in one state, but this story has enormous implications for the future of our country. The LGBT community has advocated for same-sex marriage for a while and has won in a few states and they have every right to advocate for their position. The problem is that this proposed mandate doesn’t only stand for the gay agenda but it diminishes religious freedom. Listen to the words of the spokesperson of the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission:

Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the Human Relations Commission confirmed to Fox News that churches would be subjected to portions of the proposed law.

‘They would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals,’ Dye said. ‘That type of protection parallels to what you find in race discrimination. If a church provides lodging or rents a facility they could not discriminate based on race. It’s along that kind of thinking.’

Do you see the blatantly fallacious comparison between race and sexual ‘orientation’? Prohibiting people of race to use church buildings for events has nothing to do with Christianity. However, homosexuality is sin according to Scripture. What this commission is doing is equating two things that are not the same. Race is something that people cannot choose, but people can choose to participate in homosexuality. Not only that, sexual orientation is a myth. There is little evidence for the “born gay” position. It is a popular mantra among pro-gay people but it is not scientifically founded, but that is not the real issue. The real issue is that these types of mandates eliminate religious freedom.

Religious groups have every right to control their property as they see fit. Religions are protected by the Constitution of the United States. When you take their rights away you are ripping up the Constitution. Here is the first amendment of the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The government has no right to decide what a religion can and cannot believe. The government cannot prohibit the “free exercise” of a religious establishment, but that is what the commission in Kansas wants to do. They want to alter the words of the Constitution to fit their agenda. They want to impose their gay agenda on churches that believe homosexuality is sinful. They want to prohibit the “free exercise” of religious establishments because they think our view is wrong. Their problem isn’t with Christians. Their problem is with God and the U.S. Constitution.

This story is a real concern and you should be looking out for similar mandates coming to a city near you.

Thanks for reading.


About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on April 26, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. You are mistaken if you think that being gay is a choice. I’ve spent too many nights contemplating suicide and wondering why I couldn’t just be born normal thanks to individuals such as yourself. If I could be straight, I would. I wouldn’t have to deal with absolute crap like this.

    Your religion does not protect your right to discriminate against others. In fact, homosexuality in its current connotation: loving, committed relationships i.e. NOT rape, or a means of worship to false idols is not found anywhere in the bible. The old testament laws for Jews to follow are not valid in your Christian faith. Your religion was used as a basis for slavery and racial discrimination previously. Please read a book other than the bible before you blog again. For all of our sakes.

    • Sam,

      I see you playing two sides of the coin here. You want to punish me for speaking the truth because it hurts you but then you come at me with words like, “Please read a book other than the bible before you blog again. For all of our sakes.” Is that kind? Of course it isn’t.

      Sam, I pray that God brings you from death to life. I pray that you recognize your sin and turn in humility to the God that can save you.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


      • Travis,

        I should not have but that as bluntly as I did, but I certainly still stand by it. I will be praying for you as well. I hope that you can see the light one day and recognize that we are all God’s children and cease spreading a message of hatred and intolerance. God bless.

        – Sam

      • Sam,

        I do not dislike what you wrote because it was blunt. I dislike what you wrote because it was inconsistent. Also, I do not spread hate or intolerance. You will not find anywhere in my writing where I have done that. I advocate for dialogue and rational debate. This is what seems to always happen. One person disagrees with someone and they become hateful of bigoted. Well, I am neither. I stand on the words of Jesus Christ and the Bible.


      • I am sorry that I hit a nerve, Travis. I do not feel that I shut down any opportunity for intelligent dialogue on the subject. I apologize if you feel that way. Your arguments are very ludacris and unreconcilable to me, I will admit. It did remind me–and not fondly–of the days when this exact argument was used against racial minorities. I really do hope that you will have a moment of epiphany one day and the lord will open up your heart to tolerance and love. Have a wonderful day, may the love of Christ be with you always.

      • Sam,

        You are comparing apples to monkeys. No one can stop being a race but people can stop practicing homosexuality and, in my view, stop having homosexual attraction all together. Those are two very different things.


  2. Travis, why do you consider comparison between race and sexual orientation to be “blatantly fallacious”? People do not CHOOSE their sexual orientation nay more than they CHOOSE their skin color. Orientation, like skin color, is like handedness. Some people DISCOVER they’re left-handed while most people are right-handed. Others DISCOVER they’re gay while most people are straight.

    On a similar note, are you aware that Dr. Robert Spitzer has formally apologized for his fallacious landmark 2001 ex-gay study? Click below to read his own words:

    -Alex Haiken

    • Alex,

      I don’t recall ever quoting Spitzer in our amazingly, long, past discussion. But that isn’t important. What is important is that you compare sexual proclivity to skin color and hand dominance. It just isn’t the same. With all of the research that has been done there hasn’t been a “gay gene”. Gay people aren’t “born this way” as Lady Gaga and many homosexual advocates would have us believe.

      Thanks for commenting and reading Alex,


      • I dare say, Travis, the jury is still out on this one. Do you claim insight that no one else including the scientists have? While we do not yet know what “causes” some people to be gay, we do know that that the imprinting of our sexual orientation (whether straight or gay) occurs so early in life and is so deep that it’s as if we were born with it.

        We also know that efforts to change one’s sexual orientation fail. People who have experimented with homosexual behavior (as many heterosexual people do) can turn away from it. Homosexuals, like heterosexuals, can become celibate. Or they can marry against their desires and have children. But research on efforts to help people do a 180 degree U-turn with their sexual orientation — their feelings and fantasies — reveals that no such treatment is effective. Many a person has tried hoping to escape their culture’s contempt without succeeding.

        Christian ex-gay organizations have had a go at this too offering support to those seeking to leave their orientation. But many — including several dozen such organizations affiliated with Exodus International — have been abandoned by their ex ex-gay founders. Countless former ex-gay ministry leaders, including myself, also confess that they counseled hundreds of people who tried to change their sexual orientation and none of them changed. The bottom line is it doesn’t work. Hence, the Spitzer apology.

        -Alex Haiken

      • Alex,

        I believe that God can change anyone. Even from something that, some claim, they were born with. Same-sex attraction is not a sin. However, lust and homosexual practice is. People are not trying to get away from homosexuality because of the culture they are running away from it because they know its sin. You may say that these ministries don’t work and maybe they don’t but God does.


      • Travis,

        Of course He can do anything. He is God!!! He can make a donkey fly if he wants to. But does He??!! The evidence indicates that He does not. Just because God can do ANYTHING does not mean He does EVERYTHING. His concern is not to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian people — to bring them in line with social norms — but to help them become secure in Him, assured of His love and acceptance and set apart to follow Him faithfully and responsibly.

        -Alex Haiken

  3. Christianity is a choice, no one is born a Christian, people are indoctrinated into it, unlike human sexuality which is discovered by every individual.
    Scripture is only of interest to people who subscribe to whatever religion, not to those who don’t follow it; And finally, religious freedom is the freedom to apply religion to one’s own life, not the right to force other people to live by the tenets of your religion. That, sir, would be interfering with another free citizen’s freedom of religion.

    • Pink,

      I was not “indoctrinated” into Christianity. Christianity is the only way to explain life around us. It seems to me that you have bought the “born this way” lie hook, line, and sinker. The only problem is that it simply isn’t true.

      Also, to tell a church that they must allow homosexuals to marry in their building is against the freedom of religion. You may not like what any religion has to say on the subject but the first amendment protects churches and other established religions. I also want to point out one more thing.

      You said: “And finally, religious freedom is the freedom to apply religion to one’s own life, not the right to force other people to live by the tenets of your religion.”

      Me: In America we vote on issues like this. Few states have endorsed the redefinition of marriage while many have upheld the historical definition. A church not opening up their doors for an event that would blatantly contradict their faith isn’t discrimination or bigoted. They are simply standing for what they believe. To force churches to allow these types of events is against the freedom of religion.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


      • Christianity is YOUR way of explaining life around you. Muslims have their way, Jews their way, Hindus their way, African religionists their way… and so forth.

        I have not “bought” anything, because I’m an educated person. I have thoroughly studied what scientists say on the matter and although there isn’t a clear conclusion there are studies that demonstrate some things very clearly. We know gay men and women react to pheromones in a different way than their heterosexual counterparts. We know the mother’s of homosexual males have higher fertility levels than their mother-in-laws. We know there are differences in the brains of hetero and homo-sexual males- and although that’s not evidence of causality it’s certainly evidence of inherent non-environmental differences.
        But that’s not even the point. The real point is it doesn’t matter if it’s a choice. If it’s a choice, it’s a choice the individual makes for his/her life, not a choice that you or your church make for them.

        Don’t misrepresent the issue, we’re not talking about Catholic priests being forced to perform gay weddings. We’re talking about businesses that rent out space for weddings not being able to discriminate who hires the space.

        I won’t get into the historical definition of marriage except to say that Christian marriage was modelled on Secular Roman Marriage, from Roman law. Christians took Roman marriage and changed it’s definition for the purposes of their religion.

      • Pink,

        I would love to read the studies you have read concerning the points you raised. Do you have them handy?

        If I own a building that can be used for a wedding. Should I be forced to allow a gay couple to get married there? If you say yes then you are telling me that I cannot stand for my own beliefs. If you tell me no then you are contradicting your point.


      • Study on smells:

        Study on fertility of the mothers of male homosexuals vs. fertility of the paternal grandmother, University of Padua:

        In regards to a building open to the public for rental, I’m telling you no discrimination should be allowed. I own rental apartments and I cannot and would not discriminate renters based on gender, religion, race, nationality or sexual orientation. My interest as a business person is the rental, not that the renters share in my religion or any other aspect of my identity.

      • Thanks for the links. I will check them out.

        A church is not an open to the public building. Many churches have rules when renting their space out. For instance, I am getting married this summer and the church I am getting married at only allows attendees to get married. That church has every right to do that because they are a religious establishment protected under the first amendment.


      • Any business that is open to the general public cannot discriminate between tax paying citizens. That’s how business works. Any church is free to “only allow marriages”, what they can’t to is pick and choose. What if a hindu couple wanted to rent the space for their hindu marriage?
        How about Muslim restaurant owners deciding not to serve Christian clients?

      • I would not eat at a Muslim restaurant that did not want me to eat there. I would be afraid of spit in my food. Okay, all joking aside. Business owners own their own business. The community doesn’t own the business. The community can vote with their feet whether to eat there or not. IF the community ends up not eating there because they don’t allow people with other religious views to eat there that is the business owners punishment. I think we should allow business owners to be owners. That is what freedom is all about. Just like the restaurant, churches have the same freedom. They can decide what marriages they want to endorse and not endorse. If a gay couple wants to get married there is many places they can go just like the Muslim owned restaurant.


      • That’s not how business works. When I get a license (from government) to operate as a business and make money off of the public, I take on a responsibility to obey the law and follow certain regulations.
        Restaurant owners DO NOT have the right to refuse service based on religion/gender/race/sexual orientation or any other characteristic inherent to the individual. If someone wants to have a BUSINESS, that’s how it works. If they want to have a private club, then they can choose their members willy nilly. But NOT business.
        And just so we’re clear renting out a space isn’t “endorsing” anything. If I rent an apartment to any couple, whatever they do in bed is none of my business. I don’t “endorse it”, I simply rent them an apartment.
        Christians, like you, should begin to understand that other people’s private lives and decisions have nothing to do with you. Live your own life, live your own religion, stop asking other people to live by your beliefs- by doing so you are violating their freedom of religion as guaranteed by the constitution.

      • I am not violating anything. A church is similar to what you would call a “private club” they have the right to deny same-sex marriage ceremonies from taking place in there church and it should stay that way. The few have no right to tell the religious what they can and cannot accept.


      • No, you’re absolutely correct. I dislike your personal views on the subject of marriage equality, but a church should not be required to allow LGBT individuals to marry in its quarters. That’s very different from simply not allowing an individual to throw a party in a space that is constantly rented to others. I generally subscribe to the ‘just don’t be an a-hole’ rule. It is your constitutional right to be an a-hole. However, fear of people marginalizing us is what keeps us from doing so. Employers should not be able to discriminate, but there is a definite case for religions to be as bigoted as they want to be. If a church wants to openly discriminate against a minority group, it should be able to. But it should be subject to the same kind of pressures that other hate groups such as the KKK are subjected to.

      • Wow your comments are a little harsh considering that Christians are not killing gay people like the KKK did to black people. Also, Christian churches do not discriminate against anyone. Saying that homosexuality is a sin in the Bible is different than eliminating their rights. What you are describing is something completely different than what is really going on.


      • Gay youth commit suicide at an alarmingly higher rate than straight youth and many many LGBT individuals have been murdered in this country ‘in the name of Christ.’ Maybe it is not certain branches of religions directly doing the killing, but by comparing LGBT people to animals and telling the country that they’re the enemy, there is collateral blood on some hands none the less. You’re very lucky that you were born heterosexual, Travis. Very lucky indeed. And you don’t even seem to realize it.

      • Sam,

        Give me a link showing that Christians killed LGBT people. Also, you are blaming me for young people committing suicide and that is absolutely ridiculous. I ministered to young people for 4 plus years and I would never endorse others to make fun or bully any LGBT person. However, I am interested in the truth. I have written clearly on the subject of homosexuality from a biblical perspective but that does not mean I endorse bullying or anything of the kind. I point out what God considers sin but I do not pronounce judgement because I am just as guilty as anyone else.


  4. Interesting article. While I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a biological component to homosexuality exists, there is still a big difference between a behaviour and race. Just because someone biologically has a higher level of testosterone, is an outburst of selfish anger permissible?

    The only thing that may complicate things is if the church was getting government (taxpayer) support. I don’t think they should expect to be completely autonomous in those situations.

    • Churches do not receive taxpayer money. There is a certain tax exemption for churches but they don’t receive money. Your main point is dead on though. We do not let the sociopath off the hook for killing someone because they were “born that way” so why is the “born this way” argument valid for the homosexual?

      Thanks for commenting and reading,


  5. You say : “I am not violating anything. A church is similar to what you would call a “private club” they have the right to deny same-sex marriage ceremonies from taking place in there church and it should stay that way. The few have no right to tell the religious what they can and cannot accept.”

    Private club status only exists if they’re NOT A MONEY MAKING BUSINESS. Religious people are free not to preside over gay unions. Free not to get gay-married. Free not to attend gay weddings, free not to have gay friends. They’re free to never participate in anything gay-related; But if they are business owners they are not free to discriminate based on religion/gender/race/sexual orientation or any other characteristic inherent to the individual. That equality is the basis of the constitution and bill of rights.
    You’re not defending freedom of religion, you have your freedom of religion, what you want is the right to impose your religion, to force other people to live by the tenets of your religion. Businesses can’t do that.

    • Pink,

      I think we are talking past each other. I am talking about the church as a whole or group. The established church is not a for profit business. Thus, they can decide who can use their facilities. It seems to me that you are talking about a single business owner within the church and I agree with you.

      Anyway, I would encourage you to read some of the other posts I have written on this subject which can be found at the bottom of this post. But I would encourage you to check this one out “Peace With God“.


  6. Travis, great post and interesting comments from everyone else.
    To the other post:
    I read most of them, but then I realized that my ‘another Christian brother'(I think it’s funny) was vastly outnumbered.
    First of all I want to get something clear. A true Christian stands on the word of God over anything. Worldly logic does not get it’s source from scripture. Is homosexuality a sin? Yes (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:18-32) Google it if you haven’t read it. Please focus on verse 11 of 1 Corinthians when you read it, there is freedom from the sin. But note that even though you are living in sin, you can not change apart from the grace of God. I don’t judge any of you, but don’t misinterpret what I am saying. homosexuality is a sin. I’m not approving just saying it’s not the unforgivable sin. There is freedom in Christ alone.
    Should a Church building be open to the public? Of course. I can see both sides, I really can. For some reason the American Church wants to focus on homosexuality, but it doesn’t stop there. Our beliefs has slowly been shaped by the media. It’s cool and acceptable to cheat on our wife, but we ain’t homosexuals so that’s cool. That is absurd, an unfortunately a widely shared thought. Forgive us for hurting the gay community. But the Lord used church rules for my wake me up through open rebuke. I had gradually became stagnant in my faith and started taking my focus off Christ and putting on the world in relation to 1 John. Until you couldn’t tell a difference at all between me or the people in the world. A few years go by and I am looking for a building to get married in. I didn’t go to church anywhere. So I just went to the nicest one that would make the best pictures. Went in told him my spill and the pastor said, “Absolutely not.” I got mad and asked, “why?” He said because you are living with your girlfriend and living in sexual immorality. I can’t allow it. Over the next few months I thought of that conversation and my anger toward church slowly started to turn into sadness for breaking God’s law. I began to confront the sin in my life by asking forgiveness and repenting. But had it not been for that loving bold pastor that said something and church rules (i.e. The bible) I would still be just another dull christian. That’s probably why you see so many Christian divorces, because the pastor that marries them don’t do any type of biblical evaluation on their life. Anyway, that was a little over a year ago. My wife and I attend the church. I just started teaching a sunday school class, and meet with the pastor on a regular basis for lunch, fellowship, and discipleship. You can go a long way when you move out of the way and put God first and remove the sin from your life. God’s grace it good. I talk to a lot of non christians, it’s not us verses them, it’s us and Him. Most people who have a low view of God have a high view of themselves.

    To Travis: You have stood strong but I believe Paul’s instruction to Timothy fits this pretty well in 2 Timothy 2:4, “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” Do not let Satan distract you brother. Keep fighting the good fight and running the race. In 1 John you will read that world is evil. So churches being coerced into legally allowing this to happen is going to start the persecution of the Christian in America. Will we be burned at the stake, or stoned? No. But we could lose our job, church building, be fined, and possibly some jail time. How far would most churches go to stand firm for the sake of the Bible. I would actually like to see this because it would give a lot of Comfortable Christians some trials and persecution. We could rejoice because we were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name! (acts 5:41) Brother keep up the good work, I don’t get to read them often but enjoy when I do.

    • Hey Brent,

      Thanks for the book-like comment. The goal of this blog is not to simply tackle the issues of the current culture but point people towards Christ. And you are correct getting tangled in the manifestation of sin is one that is easy. Instead of the manifestation of sin (homosexual practice) I should be more focused on pointing people to Christ. It is sometimes hard to know where to keep going and where to stop. I guess that is just one more thing I need to learn.

      Thanks for the encouragement man!


      • Travis, You were not in error at all my friend. Just a caution sign before a curve. Your post have sparked a lot of great conversations with my closest friends. Thanks.

      • Brent,

        I am glad that you have had conversations with your friends. It’s encouraging to hear that this blog has sparked dialogue and I thank God for using this blog.


  7. I’m gay and I can’t really tell you whether it is a choice or not. It’s never felt like a choice to me, but… I don’t know.

    I do know that it gets a little tough when it comes to faith to walk that path wherein I can try and find my way between what often seem to be mutually exclusive camps – both of whom say really, really awful things about the other side.

    Religion ought to be a place immune from the broader influences of modern society. For the most part, it has been – Christians were on both sides of the slavery issue in the 19th century, and those denominations have had to live with that ever since. So regardless of what Christians are saying about homosexuality 100 years from now, they ought to be able to stick to their guns now.

    The debate represented by stories like this one is frustrating at times, but it’s worth following. Thanks for the story.

    • Katy,

      Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your willingness to look at this from a different view than most gay people I run into. It seems that gay people and those friendly to the movement feel like they need to constantly fight for what they think is right and sometimes what they are fighting for takes away the rights of others. What matters is that everyone has the right to say what they want to say. You have the right to share your story and I have the right to tell you that you are in need of a savior and his name is Jesus.

      Thanks for commenting and reading,


  8. Sinister Dreams

    I didn’t chose to be bisexual, I was born that way and I knew I liked boys and girls from a very young age. In fact, i thought everyone was like that up until I was in middle school, then I realized I was different than the other kids. This isn’t something that can, or should be “fixed” either! GLBT’s aren’t broken, Christians are! 🙂

    • SD,

      I didn’t choose to be angry. I didn’t choose to be prideful. Psychopaths and sociopaths don’t choose to be so. Pedophiles don’t choose to be attracted to prepubescent children. The, “I was born this way,” argument is tired and needs to be dropped.

      I don’t excuse my anger when it gets out of control. I don’t dismiss my prideful behavior because I was born that way. We don’t let the psychopath or sociopath off for murder cause they were born that way. We don’t let pedophiles go free cause they were born that way. Homosexuals and bisexuals are no different. If you are an adult you are responsible for controlling your own behavior.

      You said, “GLBT’s aren’t broken, Christians are!” Well, everyone is broken and, everyone needs to be made whole. The only way to be made whole is by turning to a holy and righteous God for forgiveness. That God is found in the Bible and I pray that your eyes will be open to see that truth.


      • Sinister Dreams

        Comparing natural attraction to criminals is not helping your case any. Besides, it has been scientifically proven that pedophiles, murders, psychopaths ect actually HAVE a chemical imbalance, they ARE illegitimately sick, they really can be fixed with medication and treatment. Consenting adult attraction is not something that is unnatural or sick, it’s not an illness.

        I don’t need to find “god” to become whole, according to the bible I will never be whole anyway because I am a women, hell, The bible isn’t even clear on if women have souls that can be saved and go to heaven, so clearly there is no saving women. I hope you open your eyes someday too friend.

  9. Gay orientation is not a myth however it is irrelevant to the issue. It is probably not genetic but it is also not a choice. There are many genetic and psychological “errors” and problems that are currently a part of the human race. The fact that they simply exist doesn’t by any means justify acting freely on them. The choice to act on sinful desires is the issue, not whether or not they are real. Most men have a tendency to desire sex and find themselves attracted to more than just one woman. This of course doesn’t justify carrying out on that desire. Especially in the context of marriage and family. Theres also a genetic tendency towards alcoholism. Does that mean we allow those who suffer from such effects to slowly kill themselves and others because its natural? Self control, sacrifice, and acknowledgement of our fallen nature in front of God is what repentance is all about. Its about a TRANSFORMATION into a person who reflects the very nature of Christ. I find it strange that so many people seem to omit “homosexuality” out of this discussion when scripture clearly states otherwise. Is it really a surprise that we have to swim against the current sometimes in our culture? That what God says is good and what the culture says is good are polar opposites? That christians may have to be the objects of and face ridicule in the face of the majority? Its sad how so many people just give up and switch sides because of fear, ignorance, or what have you.

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