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FIRST-PERSON: The conscience never dies

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–Why do some people view a public display of the Ten Commandments as a threat? Why are pro-abortion advocates trying to force doctors to perform abortions? Why do homosexual activists insist on pushing absolute acceptance of their lifestyle? It is the nagging reality of the human condition known as the conscience.

Consider the following:

— The Supreme Court recently heard cases brought by people who claimed a public display of the Ten Commandments made them uncomfortable. Given the Court’s schizophrenic decision, you can expect more suits on behalf of people bothered by the exhibition of moral imperatives.

— The California Attorney General filed suit against the U.S government in January claiming the recently passed Weldon Amendment to be unconstitutional. The Weldon Amendment forbids state and local governments from discriminating against healthcare providers who refuse to perform or refer patients for abortions.

California insists it only wants to require doctors to perform abortions only in “emergency” cases. The only problem is that most pro-abortion advocates deem all abortions as medically necessary. Some even insist that having an abortion is preferable to giving birth because it is safer than carrying a child to term.

— According to Internet news site WorldNetDaily, a lesbian couple in Vermont has filed a discrimination complaint against a family-run inn because the Roman Catholic owners said they would be reluctant to plan and host a civil union ceremony. The inn owners are charged with violating Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act.

Each of the cases mentioned above involve individuals or groups that desperately want to silence the voice of anything or anyone that could possibly disturb their conscience.

Every human, created in the image of God, comes equipped with a conscience. This invisible reality constitutes an inner voice that constantly differentiates between what is right and wrong. The conscience applauds moral action while it condemns immoral conduct.

While the conscience can be ignored, corrupted and even seared, it never dies. Like a sore tooth, whenever it is bumped, it screams out making its presence known.

It is an attempt to silence the inner voice of conscience that drives someone to file suit seeking to remove the Ten Commandments from public display. How else can you explain someone being bothered by a silent exhibit of morality?

The mere reminder that there is an Ultimate Authority that has determined what is right and wrong pricks their conscience. When they walk by a display of His commands, their inner voice screams out. As a result, they must remove the reminder in an effort to silence their conscience.

As long as there are those who insist the unborn child is a living person, abortion advocates will be uncomfortable. The reminder that the child in the womb is a developing human being echoes against their conscience. The truth is especially troubling when it comes from a physician.

The solution, force the physician to perform that which he or she hates. In so doing, perhaps shut him or her up. Those who are troubled by their conscience will go to great lengths to find inner peace.

The effort to establish “gay marriage” is an attempt by homosexual activists to gain societal endorsement of their lifestyle. The push is motivated by a conscience that screams out their behavior is wrong. They hope that cultural acceptance will squelch the inner voice that constantly reminds them their “alternate lifestyle” is unnatural and unhealthy.

Once homosexual activists realize that securing “gay marriage” will not silence their critics, they will move to force acceptance by mandating compliance or silence. This is what is occurring with the lesbian couple suing the innkeepers in Vermont. If you will not accept our lifestyle, we will force you to comply with our wishes.

Those who insist that homosexual behavior is aberrant, prick the consciences of those pursuing “gay” relationships. And homosexual activists can’t stand it. The only recourse is to silence their critics.

There is another common thread in the cases cited above; they all involve law suits. Activists desiring to silence their opposition have found the judicial system to be an effective tool in advancing their cause. However, while a law suit might succeed in stifling the voice of critics, it will never silence the conscience. It is simply a reality of the human condition.
Kelly Boggs is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore. His column appears each Friday in Baptist Press.

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  • Kelly Boggs