Vol. 9, Issue 3: Fairness for All: Does Supporting Religious Freedom Require Opposition to LGBT Civil Rights?
Stephanie Summers (Contributing Editor)
4. Fairness for All: A Better Way than the Equality Act
The Equality Act, which would add to federal civil rights laws new prohibitions of discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex, was introduced into the House of Representatives on March 13. Supporters of the Equality Act cl aim that it protects religious freedom, but in fact it would severely constrain many faith - based organizations and persons of faith who simply desire to live by their convictions about human sexuality and marriage without harming others. In this article, f irst published in the e - News of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and being republished as a companion piece to the 2019 Kuyper Lecture given by Shapri LoMaglio on April 25, 2019, Stanley Carlson - Thies presents the Fairness for All framework as a new and better way to protect both LGBT people and religious freedom
3. 2019 Kuyper Lecture: Fairness for All: A Framework for Living Together Peacefully
Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies
Fairness for All (FFA) is an important example of peacemaking and prudential policymaking. In the midst of our society’s deep and fierce polarization around LGBT rights and religious freedom, FFA is a careful and prayerful effort to find a way forward. It is a pluralistic framework that better protects rights and freedoms for all in our society, argues Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, the Founder and Senior Director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRFA), in this response to the 2019 Kuyper Lecture by Shapri LoMaglio, given on April 25, 2019. The aim of Fairness for All is to present a peacemaking approach to our society’s divided views on marriage and sexuality, and to urge Christians to adopt this type of approach in going forward. Instead of battling for political power as the only way to protect the freedom to live and serve consistently with one’s worldview, neighbors with different worldviews can devote themselves to setting good examples, to persuasion, arguments and research, and to prayer—seeking to convince, rather than coerce, each other about what is true and best. This is Fairness for All.
2. 2. 2019 Kuyper Lecture: Does Supporting Religious Freedom Require Opposition to LGBT Civil Rights?
Christians promote rather than just tolerate religious freedom — it is a political principle rooted in our convictions about the fallibility of human nature and the limited competence of any government, as well as an affirmation of human dignity. Yet in supporting religious freedom, Christians support the rights of individuals and organizations to live and act consistently with their differing—and even offensive—beliefs (within limits).Fairness for All creates a legal framework that allows both those committed to progressive views on sexuality and those committed to historical Christian views to live as good neighbors. This allows us to carry out our disputes and differences peaceably, rather than using the force of law to restrict the full participation of the other in society. Fairness for All presents a model to protect all citizens and organizations in light of our nation’s diverse convictions about sexuality.
1. 2019 Kuyper Lecture: Bringing A Kuyperian Framework To Religious Freedom And LGBT Civil Rights
The Center for Public Justice's annual Kuyper Lecture focuses on significant questions of religion in public life and Jesus' Lordship over all creation. Its goal is to inspire and equip Christians to pursue their common calling to faithful citizenship, and to affirm the vital role of government in upholding public justice. This year’s lecture, delivered by Shapri LoMaglio at Calvin College on April 25, 2019, explored how to bridge the gap between religious freedom advocates and LGBT rights advocates. To give context for the lecture, Center for Public Justice CEO Stephanie Summers provided some history of the debate between these two groups. Her remarks offer a helpful framing for the idea of Fairness for All, including themes informed by Abraham Kuyper’s ideas and practice.