When you think about the censorship and outright banning of books and opinions, do you imagine the United States of America?
Or, more likely, does that kind of suppression strike you more as the tactics of communists or fascists that America has frequently fought against?
If liberal lawmakers in California get their way, that west coast state may be one step closer to being unrecognizable as part of the United States. A bill currently pending in the legislature would essentially ban the sale of books that include traditional Christian views on marriage and sexuality.
Shockingly, the proposed law could even be construed to make it illegal to sell Bibles, since they include verses that the far left finds unacceptable.
“Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an ‘unlawful business practice’ to engage in ‘a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer’ that advertise, offer to engage in, or do engage in ‘sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,’” explained National Review.
That’s a lot of legalese to digest, so let’s break it down. What the bill basically says is that anything that can be seen as trying to impact a person’s sexual orientation would be illegal to sell or offer.
This would almost certainly include traditional Christian counseling services and books.
“The bill then defines ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ as ‘any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” continued National Review.
“Efforts to change behaviors” is where the real problem is. After all, almost all counseling and even common psychiatric care are intended to “change behaviors” in various ways.
If you think about it, that’s the entire reason people seek help in the first place: They want to stop drinking or becoming angry or, yes, having troubling thoughts about their sexuality.
It’s also worth pointing out that the bill as written would apply to people who are trying to change their own behavior. This would mean that if a person was struggling with same-sex behavior or sexual identity and they themselves wanted to change, it would be illegal for them to buy any book meant to help them with this.
The problem here isn’t limited to Christian books. Bizarrely, the bill appears to put almost any counseling or psychiatric service in the cross-hairs.
For example, let’s say a man has the paraphilia of crossdressing or transvestism. For whatever reason, the person has become addicted to wearing women’s clothes and has found that showing up to work in high heels and a dress has a negative impact on his life.
Setting aside any personal judgment about this lifestyle choice (how liberal of us), suppose he voluntarily seeks counseling to get a handle on this problem. Maybe he just wants to stop being addicted to cross-dressing in public.
It’s his own choice. Yet counselors or books intended to help him would be illegal because they’re “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions,” in the words of the proposed law.
You might consider that example silly, but this concern is rather serious: If passed, it could only be a matter of time before the law’s extremely vague wording is used against traditional Christian teachings in the Bible.
Take Romans 1:26-27, for instance. This verse calls out homosexuality as “shameful” and encourages Christians to not act in this way.
Then there are 1 Peter 1:15-17, Romans 6:1, and Ephesians 4:22-24, all of which direct followers of Christianity to abstain from homosexuality even if they have those desires.
Let’s be extremely clear: The point of this article is not to lecture about gay lifestyles. There are an increasing number of gay conservatives who have reached their own conclusions about their beliefs, and many are on the front lines of the culture war.
You don’t even have to particularly agree with the Bible verses mentioned here to see the problem. Efforts like the proposed bill represent dangerous slippery slopes that would use the legislature to attack traditional beliefs, and even mainstream views that happen to be at odds with the far-left agenda.
If nothing else, it’s an affront to the free exchange of ideas — yes, even ones that someone might dislike — and a censorship of speech.
“No one doubts that (Christianity’s) teachings on sexual morality are increasingly unpopular,” summarized National Review. “But they remain constitutionally protected, and no state legislature should be permitted to ban a ‘good’ (such as a book) or a ‘service’ (like counseling) that makes these arguments and provides them to willing, consenting consumers.”
It’s amazing that the same liberals who bemoan “government in the bedroom” eagerly jump at the chance to give the same government control over sexual and moral topics the moment it helps their cause.
Even non-Christians and political moderates need to fight against the new wave of suppression before a 21st-century iron curtain appears. Free speech is everyone’s fight.
What do you think?