A controversial proposal in San Antonio may be the first step to banning Christians from public office! In a move that took locals completely by surprise, the city council is proposing a sweeping ordinance that would disqualify anyone who has ever "demonstrated a bias" from serving on local boards or commissions. The measure, which some have couched as an "updated non-discrimination" policy, suggests that "No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability."
Several Texas pastors are outraged by the measure, which seems to prohibit any religious or even nonbelieving conservatives from serving the city simply for holding a natural view of marriage and sexuality. At no point does the proposal define what a "bias" is, instead leaving it open to the subjective interpretation of the council. On top of barring those people from public service, the ordinance also outlaws city contracts with those deemed "intolerant" to the classes listed.
As FRC's Peter Sprigg points out, it seems to fly in the face of the Constitution that San Antonio could oppose a person on the grounds of "prior discriminatory acts." What if a person shows remorse for inappropriate statements (which, regardless of whether they're politically correct, are still protected by the First Amendment's freedom of speech) or disavowed past actions? This ordinance seems to leave no room for changing attitudes or opinions. What's more, it's ironic that the council would discourage discrimination on the basis of "religion" -- only to actively discriminate against those who let that same religion inform their beliefs on sexuality!
Though it's the next logical step after labeling moral beliefs "hate," this is certainly new territory in the war on Christianity in America. Fortunately, pastors in the area aren't about to let San Antonio become the place where we remember religious freedom alongside the Alamo!
BY TONY PERKINS