Friday, July 1, 2011

Should the Marriage Battleground Shift to Religious Freedom?

Below is a link to an article in today's Christianity Today.  It addresses the issue of the rising dilemma over how governments that approve gay marriage will treat those Christian agencies that decline on the grounds of conscience to place children for adoption with unmarried or homosexual couples.  As adoption, foster care & orphan advocates, let's pray that God will be glorified in this important debate.


Jim S said...

Reason Magazine sensibly pointed out this month that if we go down the path of expecting special legal exemptions to accommodate our religious beliefs, we shouldn't object to Muslims doing the same.

As I think Nancy Ortberg once pointed out, homosexuality is A sin, not THE sin, and we are all sinners.

Dina Ackermann, Ministry Coordinator said...

I think you make a point, however the Christian agencies are just asking for their freedom. I liken it to the government telling Christian churches that they MUST hire people of different faiths and beliefs, regardless of their convictions. That simply wouldn't make sense.

The fact of this matter is that gay couples can go to a majority of agencies in Illinois to adopt. Faith-based agencies respectfully refer them to another agency where they can be licensed. The Christian agencies are there to support Christian families that desire to have an agency thas has the same spiritual background and values, so that they are supported in this way. Faith based agencies would not typically license a family of another religion, and they should have the right to do that. They take very seriously their responsibility to place children into homes that they believe would serve the child best. There are many Jewish agencies that serve Jewish families, and I think they should be allowed to do so as well.

Another point I'd like to make is that DCFS has excellent working relationships with the faith-based agencies, and they do not want to see these agencies close their doors.

In my opinion, this issue has nothing to do with bigotry or anti-gay sentiments on the part of Christians. On the contrary, there was ONE gay couple that is trying to make it that. These faith-based agencies work tirelessly to provide stability, healing and the message of Christ to the many children who have come from very hard places. My prayer is that they will continue to be allowed to do so.

Does anyone else have a take on this?

Anonymous said...

As someone who is being directly affected by this situation I would like to add in the following comments.

Currently the faith based agencies in IL are seeking a declaratory judgement from the courts that would confirm that the law provides faith based agencies the legal protection to continue its partnership with the State. Specifically, that faith based agencies could continue to observe thier stance against placing children in homes of cohabiting individuals regardless of thier sexual orientation and refer those couples to one of the 40 plus other agencies in IL where they could be licensed so as to not violate the moral teachings of their faith.

Also, faith based agencies bring alot of private donations and private volunteer time to provide a very high level of care to the most vulerable of children. As a reminder, the church has a long history of caring for the "least of these" as a part of their faith convictions.

Finally, it important for people to know that the IL State Senator who was the cheif sponsor of the Civil Union law has made it clear that regligious agencies were not meant to have their religious freedom infriged upon by the Civil Union Act.

Thank-you for the opportunity for me to comment on this important topic.