The gay lobby was stunned at the sudden withdrawal of California’s AB 2943 in August, a piece of legislation dubbed the ‘Must Stay Gay Bill.’ The bill would have imposed a ban on homosexual conversion therapy that was so restrictive that it could have effectively banned Christian book stores, ministries – and even the Bible itself – for providing accurate information that sinful humans can stop sinning and lead a normal life.
The good news is that Christianity has not yet been banned in California. The bad news is that the bill’s author has promised to bring it up again.
California’s current secular religious climate brings to mind a family anecdote from one of the Founding Fathers of America, Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin’s ancestors were Protestants dating back to the earliest days of the Reformation. They were also known to be very outspoken in opposition to popery.
Ben Franklin’s great-great-grandfather obtained a Bible printed in English, and the family kept it concealed in the base of a joint stool. Ben’s great-great-grandfather would flip the stool over and open it up to read the Bible to the family. One child would remain stationed at the front door to keep watch in case the papal religious authorities came walking by. The family would flip the stool over and hide the Bible when necessary. California is rapidly approaching that state of religious oppression and at least 12 other states are keen to eagerly follow its lead.
The big surprise about the withdrawal of AB 2943 was that it had already passed both the Assembly (California’s version of a House of Representatives) and the Senate, overwhelmingly. The bill’s author, Assembly member Evan Low, abruptly pulled the bill after he spent the summer visiting with Christian leaders across the state.
Among the people he spoke to were pastors and other adults who used to soil themselves with the sin of homosexuality but are now living life on God’s terms – married to a person of the opposite sex, bearing children, happy and working to advance God’s kingdom.
California has already banned conversion therapy efforts directed toward children. This is especially worrying because that is the time in life when homosexuality is often imprinted on a person, through sexual abuse. California’s government voted to keep the most vulnerable members of society in the wolf’s den.
But AB 2943 would have gone a step further, banning any professional practice or the sale of any products geared toward convincing someone that homosexuality is a sinful choice and it is condemned by God, just as theft, murder, bestiality, witchcraft and property taxes are condemned.
The bill’s fans railed against the critics: “It won’t ban Christian bookstores! The bill doesn’t say that!”
What conversion therapy products was AB 2943 referring to, then? Aside from Christian books and the Bible itself, and perhaps a few Jewish books, what other “products” urge homosexuals to abandon a life of sin and dedicate their lives to something higher than their own physical urges?
Are we to believe that the gay lobby would not be poring through every Christian book on the store shelves, looking for any truthful references to homosexuality as a choice and not a biological fact? “This one must be burned!”
In stark technical terms, pastors would not be able to preach about homosexuality at all under AB 2943. Jesus declares in Revelation 21:8, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable (homosexuals), murderers, sexually immoral (also homosexuals), sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” If you repent of your sins, turn away from them, believe the Gospel and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can avoid an eternity in hell and live a happy, fulfilled life. Sorry, pastor – you can’t say that under AB 2943!
So, why did Assembly member Evan Low withdraw his own bill after talking with religious leaders about their concerns over the summer? We doubt that he had a “Road to Damascus” moment during those discussions. The most likely explanation is that many Christian groups had threatened to sue the state based on religious discrimination.
Here’s how that would have played out: Any state or federal court in California would have likely upheld AB 2943. Then, the US Supreme Court would strike it down at the federal level, effectively stopping all 13 states that currently have conversion therapy ban legislation in the works. Evan Low knew that his bill would ultimately get clobbered by the High Court, so he has retreated – at least for now.
~ Christian Patriot Daily