Religious Freedom At Stake

Campus ministries remain silent to issues
( [email protected] ) Mar 18, 2004 08:47 AM EST

A saying goes, “Silence is the loudest voice.” As if the silence weren’t enough from pastors in the churches, Christian campus ministries have not lifted a finger to help defend Biblical scriptures against homosexuality because they say they don’t usually become involved in political issues. The debate on homosexual marriages deals with all Christians even though it may seems political, some pro-family advocates say.

“Pastors have been conned into believing that they should not become engaged in political issues,” Peter Brandt, director of issues response from Focus on the Family, said in a recent interview with The Christian Post.

Brandt added, “Yes, it is a political issue but it is also a moral issue that strikes that the concept of righteousness.”

Even Christian campus fellowships such as Campus Crusade for Christ International has not made any declaration of their stance even though it defines itself as “an interdenominational ministry committed to helping take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.”

Some fellowships would argue that making an official declaration of their stance in the homosexual marriage debate would promote discrimination similar to how supporters of homosexual marriages are accusing the Federal Marriage Amendment or any law that would prevent homosexual marriages from becoming legalized as discriminatory. One campus ministry spokes woman said that the nature of the ministry does not allow it to become involved in matters such as these.

Even a student named Anthony Romeo filed a lawsuit against the Catholic school he is attending on the basis of discrimination. After Seton Hall University in New Jersey rejected his GLBT(Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) student group, he claims they were discriminating.

Many Christian activists have said phrases which usually say, “God loves man but hates the sin.”

Focus on the Family Founder Dr. James Dobson backs Biblical scripture, which tells us to accept even the sinner. On the Web site, Dr. Dobson responds to a question on homosexuality and included this statement as part of his response: “Let me simply say that the same Scriptures that condemn homosexuality and premarital heterosexuality also tell us to accept those who are in violation of these ordinances. Jesus was more compassionate toward the woman caught in the very act of intercourse.”

While headlines of pro-family sites cover news and offer resources related to the homosexual debate, Home pages of campus fellowships such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Navigators only list testimonies, upcoming conferences and resources on Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

The homosexual issue is not only the responsibility of pro-family groups, all Christians need to speak out in order to win the battle to protect traditional marriages.

“Christians need to be engaged and speak out and let their voices be heard. That will make a tremendous difference in this debate," said Brandt.

Not speaking out now may jeopardize religious freedom, according to Lori Waters, executive director of Eagle Forum.

"I think the (greatest) concern is religious freedom,” said Waters. "Will individuals still have the right to say, based upon their religious beliefs, that they believe homosexuality is a sin?"