Little more than a week ago, I posted about what was then the upcoming oral arguments presented to the United States Supreme Court dealing with same-sex marriage. That post, titled Children In The Crosshairs, related one of my personal concerns about the impact this decision (due in June) may have on innocent children.Now that the arguments have been presented and the attorneys have fielded interrogatories from the Supremes, I’m noting another concern being expressed. The ominous death knell for Christian organizations (churches, schools, etc.) appears to have sounded and was summed up by author Joe Carter in his opening paragraph here: “With six words –’It is going to be an issue’ – the U.S. government signaled to orthodox Christian colleges and universities that if they don’t drop their opposition to same-sex marriage they will lose their tax exempt status.”
Granted, no one knows where this decision will land, but there are plenty of prognosticators who interpreted proverbial tea leaves based on their hearing (or reading) the arguments. Several suggested the arguments were mostly irrelevant because the Supremes had already made up their minds, having reviewed the briefs beforehand.
I imagine a good number of people wouldn’t be disappointed to have Christian organizations across the country be forced to close … or lose their tax-exempt status. Those are the likely options ahead: adhere to an unconditional biblical view on natural marriage (and thus be subject to loss of tax exemption) or “evolve” and accept the culture’s redefinition of marriage.
In my youth, I attended two Christian colleges, achieving a bachelor’s degree at the second. We sent our children to Christian school at one point. We attend a Christian church and donate funds to other Christian endeavors. I’m awestruck to think any one of them might alter its biblical message, but I’m equally awestruck to consider the possibility of their cultural influence being quashed!
In general, I don’t worry about things. I know God is sovereign and big enough for even the most perplexing of problems. I take confidence in His promises. But I wonder how many people who are anxious to see same-sex marriage become the law of the land have ever considered how our country will change as Christians are booted from the public square and demoted to second-class (perhaps even third-class) status.
In Muslim countries, dhimmitude is a term used to define non-Muslims who are required to pay a tax for the extended privilege of continuing to live among Muslims. Though it’s difficult to locate specific and reliable information on dhimmitude, taxation represents, of course, a means of control; you get out of line, say the wrong thing, and your taxes escalate. Or as has happened in recent days, Christians (or other dhimmis) suddenly lose their lives.
Thinking about the dhimmi concept in relation to the expected wave of cultural change that may be coming, I composed today’s poem. Dhimmitude isn’t exclusive to Muslim countries. In some respects, the mob practiced a coercion not unlike dhimmitude. Why would it surprise us that cultural (and legal) bullies would carry on the same way?