New developments affecting religious freedom, family life

Defending family, faith and freedom

There are two public policy issues that deserve the attention of the Body of Christ in South Africa. The first constitutes a threat to religious freedom and the other an opportunity to strengthen the family.

Andries Nel, the Deputy Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development announced the national task team on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-sexual and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

The deputy-minister described the event as marking “the beginning of a historic partnership between government and civil society in the fight against homophobic crimes in our country.”

He added that South Africa’s constitution had “globally positioned South Africa as one of the liberal countries that expressly prohibits all forms of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation”.

Homosexual activists are using the rape of lesbians as a springboard to promote their agenda to criminalise all forms of opposition to their sexual preference including silencing the Church.

Rape is already a criminal offense in SA. However, homosexual activists argue the rape of lesbians is a more serious crime and government must do more to protect homosexuals. This obviously means the rape of heterosexual women is considered a lesser crime. 55 000 women are raped annually in SA and the rape of lesbians constitute only a tiny fraction of this horrific crime.

The task team will demand the criminalisation of all criticism of homosexuality including the Biblical injunction against same sex relations. Homosexuals argue the church’s (Scriptural) condemnation of their lifestyle promotes teen suicides and motivates acts of violence against them.

Nothing can be further from the truth. But the task team’s agenda does pose a serious threat to religious freedom. Sexual violence must end! But never at the expense of the Gospel. Please read Family Research Council’s excellent booklet, Top Ten Homosexual Myths.

The Department of Social Development has published the Green Paper on Families in the Government Gazette. The paper seeks to promote family life and strengthen families in SA.

The Green Paper contains proposals “on how SA families should be supported, in order to flourish and function optimally”. Government wants families to play a central role in SA’S development.

The “National Family Policy” provides the Church of Christ a significant opportunity to contribute to the development of public policy that specifically seeks to restore and strengthen the family unit.

This is the first such policy document in South Africa and has the potential to spark the long overdue debate about the critical role of marriage and the family in the success of the nation.

Please download and save the Green Paper on Families to your computer. I also encourage Pastors, Churches and Marriage and Family Ministries to read through the paper & formulate comments.

The Church in SA must lead in support of the family. Your Church can form think tanks around this issue and begin to find sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the SA family.

You and I cannot ignore this opportunity to participate in a process that seeks to restore and strengthen the most fundamental of society’s institutions. Please pray and act now!

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