The Victorian anti-conversion therapy legislation is precisely what many opponents of same-sex marriage said was coming.
These same people were accused of being fear-mongers and slippery-slopers.
Frankly, they were treated like hysterical idiots, particularly by many, but not all, in the intellectual class.
Soon it will probably be illegal in Victoria to counsel someone towards being able to manage, maybe even overcome, same-sex attraction and gender confusion.
Soon it will be illegal to tell people from a pulpit that their identity is not merely the sum total of their felt-urges, but that their felt urges should be brought into conformity with their deeper identity as a servant of King Jesus.
No one denies that the Victorian legislation is going to limit actions and speech that would have previously come under the rubric of religious freedom.
Even advocates of the legislation admit that.
I hope that the Victorian legislation finally destroys a confusion in the minds of far too many Christian intellectuals who for years have been telling more conservative Christians to “lose cheerfully” when it comes to matters of human identity and sexuality.
As is so often the case, intellectuals like to think of social conflicts as academic debates that can be won or lost via discussion – which they’re very good at. And if one loses the debate, well, no big deal.
This is to confuse a culture debate with a culture war.
But we are not in the midst of just a culture debate. We are in the midst of a culture war.
The people who are pushing this legislation don’t think conservatives are merely wrong or confused, they think conservatives are dangerous – a threat to civil society, justice, and lives.
They think conservative views are pernicious and need to be contained and, over time, eradicated.
Losing the culture wars is not just losing a debate, it’s watching legislation passed that seriously compromises not just freedom, but people’s liberty to pursue means to overcome their unwanted and sinful desires and live a life more in accordance with what they want and what God intended for them.
Could we please stop talking about cheerfully and graciously losing the culture wars as though they are some faculty lunchroom discussion and of no great consequence in the long term?
Loving our neighbours requires no less.
I’ll not be cheerful about laws that work towards the immiserisation of my neighbour.
In other words, to hell with losing cheerfully.
Let’s fight furiously.