Fasting & Prayer, Day 2

  Today, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the case of Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. The issue in this case is whether the Boy Scouts—a private organization—can be forced to accept a homosexual man as a scoutmaster. But what the court decides in the Dale case will have repercussions that go far beyond the parties in this dispute. And that's why I'm asking Breakpoint listeners to join me in prayer and fasting for the Court. Last August, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that, under the state's law against discrimination, the Boy Scouts could not bar practicing homosexuals from being scoutmasters. Even more troubling was the reasoning the Court employed. In deciding that the New Jersey law was applicable, the Court took it upon itself to tell the Scouts what their oath, which requires that Scouts be "morally straight," means. Not surprisingly, it found that being "morally straight" did not preclude practicing homosexuality. And the Court declared the Boy Scouts a "public accommodation" like a restaurant or a department store, and thus covered under state law. The reasoning was so broad that the same law could easily be applied to churches. The Scouts appealed the case, asserting it violates their First Amendment right to freedom of association. But the stakes in this case are high. If the New Jersey ruling stands, it will become a model for so- called "gay rights" groups across the country. Further, private groups, and especially Christian ones, will come under increasing pressure to set aside their biblically based moral objections to homosexuality. If you think I'm overstating the case, just ask the people in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Last week, the group's funding, their ability to advertise their meetings, and even their ability to reserve rooms on campus, were taken away by the university. Why? Because, InterVarsity refused to allow a lesbian student to assume a position of leadership. A ruling against the Scouts in the case being heard today will open the door for governments across the country to treat private groups like Tufts' totalitarians treated the members of InterVarsity. And just this week the Vermont legislature is giving sanction to what amounts to homosexual marriage, condoning benefits for same-sex partners. The consequences will be devastating to the family, which every civilization has embraced as part of the natural order. And in a couple of days will be the march on Washington billed as the Millennium March, yet another attempt by "gay rights" groups to convince America that homosexuality is a civil rights issue. But it clearly is not. Societies confer benefits on certain groups because they provide a contribution to the public good. Families do. The Boy Scouts do. But to say that because you're not part of a group to which society provides such benefits, that this is somehow discrimination, is nonsense, and that's a point Christians need to make. The case being heard today is crucial, which is why I'm asking you to join me in prayer and fasting: that God will guide the Court in its deliberations, that the Justices will see the harm this case could do—not just to the Scouts and other private voluntary organizations that do so much for society—but to the First Amendment itself.


Chuck Colson


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