Choices Made

I will admit that I never gave this quote from the House Journal a second thought until I read/heard it the fourth time.  The remarks were made by (the now infamous) Rep. Karl Rhoads in defense of his handling of same-sex marriage, when the entire House of Representatives debated SB1 for the third and final time.  At this point, late in the evening, all amendments (intended to fix the deeply flawed bill) were soundly rejected and House members gave their final speeches to voice their support or opposition SB1.  For a moment, set aside all annoyances and prejudices and read carefully:

“Religion obviously is a choice, you get to choose your own religion, it’s not something that you’re born with or you can’t do anything about. It makes you wonder why religion is on the list [of protected classes].” (Rough Draft – House Journal, Day 10, p. 11)

choiceThroughout the debate, proponents hammered away in oral testimony contending that homosexuality is not a choice – a point that Rep. Karl Rhoads clearly was echoing.  The veracity of this contention is irrelevant to the discussion at hand, only that it was a contention that was insisted upon by proponents.

What is profound was for Rhoads to assert that “religion obviously is a choice” — exposing the hypocrisy of progressive idealism.  It is rather bold for proponents like Rhoads and the ACLU to use their naked idealism in support of a “chosen” minority while using it as a bludgeon on those minorities that they find less than agreeable.  Rhoads used this argument to counter opponents of SB1 (who stated that homosexuality was a choice).  This flimsy logic was used to justify the actions of the House Judiciary and Finance Committees, and for not providing people of faith the same protections that he sought to secure for those of non-heterosexual relations.[1]

In essence, people of faith are second-class citizens relative to individuals who are defined by race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.  In my own case, only two questions were necessary to debunk myopic progressive idealism: [2]

1)      As a Christian (me personally), can I choose not to be a Christian?

An easier way to rephrase this question is “At this moment, could I choose to have a different faith?”  Could I choose to be a Buddhist, or even an atheist.  The answer is an unequivocal NO.  I know the Gospel to be the truth, the inspired Word of God – therefore I am a Christian.  This distinction is particularly important.  Atheists and people of weak faith, who neither know nor understand my faith, believe that I chose to be a Christian and therefore chose to accept the Gospel as truth.[3]

2)      If my faith demands that I accept the Gospel as TRUTH, as the inspired Word of God, is religion (faith) a choice?

I know the Gospel to be the truth, and hold that truth on the same level as a) living in a heliocentric solar system and b) the Earth being round, not flat.  To suggest that I can change my faith is to suggest that I can also change what I accept as truth.

This entire post might seem esoteric – an exercise in something vague and abstract.  But it underscores the rationale that progressives use to suppress religious freedoms – the hypocrisy of progressives and liberals.[4]  Progressives assert that sexual orientation is not a choice, and therefore this expression of their individuality cannot be suppressed.  Yet, the very same progressives instruct people of faith to “check their religion at the door” as if it were a choice, an individual expression that can be turned off like a light switch.  History (Canada, Massachusetts etc.) has demonstrated this mentality to be the next step after same-sex marriage to confine religion to the home and to places of worship as if we were afflicted with leprosy.

To state that religion (and therefore faith) is a choice is to suggest that our faith is a label that we can freely change on a whim like a favorite college football team or a favorite food to eat.  This reckless and discriminatory assertion has no place in any modern society with a First Amendment equivalent.  But most importantly, to concede religion as a choice is to pave a future for people of faith to be treated as second-class citizens.

[1] For clarity, “non-heterosexual orientations” is used as an all-encompassing terminology where the term “homosexual” is not comprehensive enough.

[2] I use myself as an example, using my own faith and experience.  Individual results will vary.

[3] While my expertise is in secular prose, please forgive any lapses or specifics regarding faith.  I normally prefer to surrender this to individuals who are better versed on topics of theology.

[4] For another good read on progressive hypocrisy, head over to the Hawaii Farmer’s Blog for this post: