Indiana’s RFRA Controversy: The Sexual Revolution’s Next Stage

What if I told you that a new law labeled as anti-gay by the New York Times and CNN was going to take effect soon. What if I also told you that Apple CEO Tim Cook compares it to Jim Crow laws, that Connecticut’s Governor has issued an executive order banning state-paid travel to Indiana because of it and that NCAA has threatened to move future events from the state all together. You would think it must be an outright crazy law, right?

But what if I also told you that this law has nothing to do with gay people, or that the words “gay,” “lesbian” and “sexual orientation” in fact don’t appear in this law or any of the other Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. And what if I told you that no RFRA has ever been used successfully to defend anti-gay discrimination in 20 years.

I wouldn’t blame you for being confused. So what is going on here? This outrage must be understood in the context of the Sexual Revolution. A revolution is defined as a “forcible overthrow of a social order in favor of a new system” and destroying religious liberty is a necessary step for a revolution that favors adult sexual desires above all.

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Since the middle of the twentieth century almost everything marriage once brought together has been split apart to accommodate for these sexual desires, the ultimate goal for Sexual Revolutionaries:

1.  Sex has been divorced from children.

The invention and proliferation of the contraceptive pill in the 1950s and 1960s made it possible to spread the lie that sex could be conducted for pleasure alone, without any unwanted consequences—like babies. As described by Saint John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, the danger with contraception is how it puts personal fulfillment at the center of life’s meaning and fosters a self-centered concept of freedom, a freedom divorced from truth.

Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want to do, but to do what one ought to do. This is the difference between a freedom that will make you a slave under your sins or a freedom that will set you free through discipline and self-mastery. When pretending that sex is sterile we are no longer living according to the truth of the human person, and that puts us on a path to self-destruction. The fact that about 60 million children have been aborted since 1973 should be evidence enough.

2.  Sex has been divorced from love.

In his book Three to Get Married, Fulton Sheen makes the following distinction: “In sex the male adores the female. In love the man and woman together adore God. Sex seeks the part; love the totality.” In the hook-up-culture, ubiquitous on college campuses today, sex is seen as just another recreational activity with no deeper meaning. It essentially favors male sexual desires while leaving females feeling disconnected and jaded. This has led to more STDs and unintended pregnancies, increased sexual violence as well as introduced a range of emotional and psychological problems that become barriers to authentic love.

3.  Love has been divorced from commitment.

Love is not seen as an action, a promise and commitment anchored and sustained in the will. It’s rather based on a hedonistic mindset that sees love as an emotion, an intangible sentiment constructed in the mind and backed up by some butterflies in the stomach and physical attraction. With the introduction of “no-fault” divorce in the late 1970s and early 1980s, couples could split up for any reason, like “falling out of love,” or no reason at all. This legislative policy is erroneously based on the idea that marriage is primarily about adult romance.

4.  Marriage has been divorced from children.

Almost half of all “first babies” in the U.S. are now being born to unwed mothers. For Millennials, out-of-wedlock childbirth is the norm. With more cohabitation comes less family stability, which in turn creates more single parents. Single parent families are more prone to poverty and children who grow up without their fathers are much more likely to use drugs, commit crimes, become teen parents and spend time in jail. With the introduction of same-sex “marriage” the idea of marriage as a union with unique and distinct procreative features is effectively being abolished.

5.  Children have been divorced from sex.

The inverse of contraception and abortion is children as entitlements. With reproductive technologies and practices such as egg and sperm donation, IVF and surrogacy, it is no longer sex that makes babies but doctors and fertility agencies. Parenthood today is becoming a commercial enterprise, not determined by the biological union that created the child, but rather legally assigned according to adult intentions and desires.

As marriage is redefined and as beliefs about human sexuality continue to change, will the right to dissent be protected? Don’t count on it. For the Sexual Revolutionaries the revolution is not over, and after dismantling marriage, with the help of the Supreme Court that most likely will determine same-sex “marriage” to be a constitutional right this summer, religious liberty is next.

As President Obama, continues to reassure us that “same-sex marriage poses no threat to religious liberty,” photographers, bakers and florists are being sued for declining to provide services to same-sex ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs. And losing.

This brings us back to the RFRA law in Indiana. What this law de facto does, is establish a balancing test for courts to apply in religious liberty cases. No side automatically gets a victory. Therefore the law can and should be seen as a shield, not a sword. But the Sexual Revolutionaries are now turning it into a sword by rallying and advancing their troops. For them “religious liberty” is a contradiction in terms and they will use every opportunity they can to label, penalize and punish anyone who disagrees with their view on sexuality.

In light of this, we have two questions we need to be able to answer. First, we need to be able to answer the question “What is marriage?”

To echo the words of Ryan T Anderson, co-author of What is Marriage: Man and Woman: A Defense, marriage has always existed to unite a man and a woman as husband and wife to be mother and father to any children that their union might produce. It’s based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary. It’s based on the biological fact that reproduction requires a male and female. It’s based on the sociological reality that children deserve a mother and a father and do best when raised by their biological parents.

For Catholics, marriage has also been elevated to a sacrament making it a theological truth. Marriage is a covenant, a sign of Christ’s love for his bride, the Church. The grace of the Holy Spirit empowers us to give ourselves to each other the way Christ gives himself to the Church—freely, faithfully, fruitfully and totally. With Lent coming to an end, we are once more reminded of what that self-sacrifice looks like.

The second question we must face is even tougher. Just as Thomas More did when he was executed for standing up against Henry VIII’s personal view on sexual morality, are we also ready to leave fear behind and proudly stand up for our faith, even if the price might be persecution and martyrdom?


  • Rickard Newman

    Rickard Newman is a convert, Swedish ex-pat, father of two and the current Director of Family Life for the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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