A Different Take on the "Add the Words" Protesters
During the 2014 Idaho legislative session, numerous people were arrested and charged with trespassing at the State Capitol building (other charges filed included "unlawful assembly" and "refusal to disperse"). At the time of the initial arrests on February 4, the accused had blocked the entrance to the senate chambers in order to protest the Legislature’s continued refusal to make it illegal to discriminate against any person because of his or her "sexual orientation" or "gender identity."
The four words that some insist ought to be added to Idaho’s existing (and overly broad) citizen protection laws are basically synonymous with an ever-growing acronym that denotes terms such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual; it seems as though this particular special-interest group intends to commandeer the entire alphabet (not to mention the rainbow, which of course already had a symbolic meaning long before they claimed it as their own). Some are adding the moniker of heroes to these self-styled champions of equality, but state authorities have given them the title of misdemeanor offenders - despite their contention that they were merely exercising their rights.
While I'm under no illusion that law enforcement agents are always the good guys - soldiers did take pleasure in mocking and beating Jesus before leading him off to be crucified, after all - I am firmly in their corner regarding this matter. If the protesters' arrests are viewed objectively in the light of some other scenarios, I contend that the issue takes on a much different meaning from the one which their supporters would like the world to believe. This article was written to illuminate this more oblique but significant way that astute observers can reasonably interpret what took place at the Capitol on that recent Monday morning.
As a rule, those who escape judgment for one crime invariably face both temporal and spiritual justice for another. The Prohibition era mobster Al Capone managed to conduct his most nefarious deeds for quite some time without consequence, but was eventually convicted of, and imprisoned for, tax evasion. By the time he was released, he had been overcome by poor physical and mental health (most notably from the effects of syphilis), and finally died in obscurity. Similarly, football star O.J. Simpson used his money, influence, and charm to gain an acquittal for double homicide, but wound up in prison for a pathetic botched robbery attempt (after having been shunned by most of society in the interim). News reports and photos indicate that his once-exemplary physical condition has deteriorated significantly as well. In general, criminals receive a comprehensive comeuppance sooner or later, and they are sent to the same places without regard for what variety of criminal they may be. This is in accordance with the Biblical epistle of James, which states: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (chapter 2, verse 10). It also aligns with Jesus' words as recorded in Luke 8:17: "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad." The truth is always made known in time, no matter how much some people may try to obscure it.
The state's deviants and their defenders (in legal terms, their accomplices) have been flaunting their disregard for not only transcendent moral law, but Idaho State Law, for some time: this state maintains a strict statute* against "the infamous crime against nature" on its books, regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court’s misguided rulings declaring such laws unenforceable. Despite their evasion of that law, however, they have now proven themselves to be no more than common criminals in another way. This isn’t surprising; lawbreakers tend to branch out into more types of transgressions until they are caught. And when they are inevitably brought to justice, law abiding citizens aren’t particularly concerned with what crime they are caught committing, but are simply relieved that they are off the streets (or out of the Statehouse, as the case may be). We should then hope and pray that they might learn from the consequences they face, for the Scriptures make it clear that God would rather show mercy to the repentant than judge the unrepentant (Ezekiel 18:23), and that we ought to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45). Admittedly, adopting this attitude can be extremely difficult - especially when the perpetrators are remorseless and, moreover, determined to force their unconscionable practices on the rest of society. But the aforementioned Bible passages don't require us to condone their lawlessness, or even to avoid considering them as enemies. It is a matter of preferring mercy to judgment, and of being ready and willing to offer forgiveness and integration if an attitude of repentance is demonstrated (James 2:13). For those who stubbornly refuse to change their ways, judgment will come in good time. Since God is patient, we must be also.
Another facet of interest regarding what transpired in Boise in February is illuminated by Proverbs 26:27, which states: "Whoever digs a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolls a stone, it will return upon him." In late 2012, Boise’s City Council gladly surrendered to the influence of the LGBT crowd by making it illegal to "discriminate" against someone who self-identifies as a homosexual or any variant thereof. Anyone found guilty of violating local ordinance O-36-12 would be subject to up to six months of incarceration and as much as $1000 in fines. To my knowledge, no one has yet been convicted of (or even charged with) this purported crime, but can you guess what penalties the Add the Words protesters are now facing for the genuine and verifiable crime of trespassing? If you came up with "up to six months and $1000", you guessed correctly. The net that these troublemaking busybodies spread for innocent people fourteen months ago has caught no one but themselves, and they walked straight into it in broad daylight in full view of the whole world! God’s justice is truly poetic, for those who grasp the rhyme and the meter.
* While Idaho's Statute 18-6605 is strict by comparison to contemporary standards (the established punishment for committing the "infamous crime against nature" is a minimum of five years in prison), it is actually quite lax next to Biblical law; a few years in prison is a light consequence compared to the death penalty. Tellingly, in another apparent - albeit perhaps subconscious - acknowledgment of the validity of God's commandments, some homosexuals have decided to carry out the judgment prescribed by Mosaic law upon themselves. But repentance is a far preferable option to suicide.
For more (pop culture-related) thoughts about the insidious nature of Boise's Ordinance O-36-12, please click here.