Christians beware – if California has its way, pastors, Christian bookstores, therapists and writers could be in trouble for repeating or teaching the Bible as it relates to homosexuality being a sin. You read that right – passages from the Bible may soon become illegal in the Golden State.
As early as next month, AB 2943: Unlawful business practices: sexual orientation change efforts, may be approved. The law seeks to make it illegal to council, advise or in anyway mention Christian views of gay relationships when there is any kind of money or service attached to it. So, a writer, for instance, would not be able to put Bible verses opposing homosexuality in a book if he intends to sell it. A bookstore may not sell that book either. A councilor would not be able to refer to that book, even to someone who wished to change their sexual orientation to heterosexual. Just look at one small paragraph in the proposed Bill (text appears as shown in the bill, with different colors and strikethrough signify changes to the original law):
(p) Courts Courts, including in California, have recognized the practice of sexual orientation change efforts as a commercial service, and service. Therefore, claims that sexual orientation change efforts are effective in changing an individual’s sexual orientation, may constitute unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under state consumer protection laws. This bill intends to make clear that sexual orientation change efforts are an unlawful practice under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
It’s unclear as yet whether Bibles will be banned, but some feel it may come to that, as CBN News reported:
“Whenever a pastor or a church or a para-church ministry holds a conference or an event or sells a book or video about overcoming same-sex desires or gender confusion, that could indeed be banned,” Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, told CBN News.
“This is because AB 2943 is only triggered when money is being exchanged for ‘sexual orientation change efforts,’ and there is no exemption for religious institutions or religious material,” he continued. “Could that include selling Bibles? Possibly, but not likely; much more likely to be targeted are speakers, books, and videos helping people get out of homosexuality and transsexuality.”
Anne Paulk is a former lesbian who, with the help of her church and Christian resources, changed her life. She now oversees more than 50 ministries in the U.S. that help people with “unwanted” same-sex attractions. She told CBN News that she felt AB 2943 is a direct aim at the Church:
“There is a lot of power in California and they are wielding that power,” she said. “The actual objective is to silence the Church in helping people leave homosexuality. If it starts there it won’t stop there.”
“If you surrender on the area of human sexuality and homosexuality you actually surrender the rights of the Church to hold standards in any area…you begin to erode the discipleship and integrity of the Body of Christ,” she added.
Snopes, ever the left-leaning information site, posits that claims AB 2943 will ban Bibles are false; however, Robert Gagnon debunks that claim with a lot of great information and statements from lawyers, calling Snopes “sneaky liars.”
The fact is, while the bill does not specifically call out religious beliefs or Bibles in its text, its wording leaves it painfully obvious that it places a bullseye on Christian beliefs regarding same-sex relationships. Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Matt Sharp said the following:
“California AB 2943 makes it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services, or anything else that helps someone overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. As a result, it could be a violation if a pastor encourages a congregant to visit the church book store to purchase books that help people address sexual issues, perhaps including the Bible itself, which teaches about the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman.”
Constitutional law attorney Jenna Ellis said: “In other words, a Christian bookstore could be sued for carrying a book such as Ryan T. Anderson’s latest, When Harry Became Sally, solely because the message is in conflict with the LGBT agenda.”
The bill states it is acceptable to promote same-sex relationships, but any efforts to discourage it is illegal – even if someone seeks help because of “unwanted” sexual orientation. Ellis said: “Thus, this law is not viewpoint neutral and specifically targets psychotherapists, counselors, pastors, lay counselors, authors, speakers, and any other speakers from promoting a message of heterosexuality, and instead allows only a message affirming the LGBT viewpoint.”
This bill is being fast-tracked, likely to prevent opposing opinions from being heard. California leads the way in a lot of its insane notions, so if this bill passes, other progressive and liberal states may just follow suit. What will happen to Christians next? The way things are going, it is only a matter of time before the Bible is banned. And then what? Sermons and churches? Will we be forced to hide in abandoned buildings to practice our faith?