May 2, 2019
Mornings w Carmen 4-2-2019 hour 2: Elliott Clark on Evangelism as Exiles and Shapri LoMaglio on the Equality Act
Not everyone liked Jesus. Not everyone received him. Exclusion, rejection and suffering were part of his life experience. Why do we, as his followers, expect something different as we seek to extend his kingdom reach? As Christians in America wake up to the reality of a culture which has shifted away from religious institutions and systems of beliefs toward autonomy and syncretism, finding an evangelical voice as exiles is essential. Elliott Clark knows how to do that from his years of experience serving in Muslim majority countries where, as a Christian, he was always an exile. He joined Carmen to talk about his book, Evangelism as Exiles.
Shapri LoMaglio is the senior Vice President for government and external relations for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and joined Carmen to talk about HR5, the Equality Act pending before the U.S. Congress. LoMaglio raises several concerns about HR5, including:
- the Act fails to provide essential religious liberty protections to distinctively Christian colleges, universities and other faith-based institutions;
- the Act puts at risk the current freedom Christian institutions of higher ed have in hiring and firing;
- the Act would have the unintended consequence of restricting student choice as it would prevent middle and low income students from being able to use Title IV (federal student aid) money at these schools;
- the Act would put Christian institutions of higher ed in the cross-hairs of those who argue they are places of public accommodation from which no one can be turned away.
Carmen and Shapri talk about the challenge of balancing what are perceived as competing rights. The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, the freedom of speech (and conscience), the freedom of association and, through the establishment clause, the freedom to teach the faith. To this point, all legislation seeking to eliminate or criminalize discrimination has included exclusions, protections, exemptions or carve outs for religious people and institutions. The Equality Act does not.
They conclude their discussion acknowledging the need for each of us and all of us to learn to live together in peace. This will require the kind of Confident Pluralism professor John Inazu talks about here.