By Denise Shick – BarbWire guest contributor
No one seems to know exactly the origin of the phrase ‘As California goes, so goes the nation.’ Whoever said it first likely was pretty astute. Like the jet stream, cultural trends tend to sweep from west to east across America. What begins in January as a uniquely California craze is often a national cultural phenomenon by summer. California is not just the country’s most populous state, it’s also often its most influential state.
The country’s far-left state brought us sourdough bread, skateboards and the Valley girls. Now the Golden State is poised to pioneer another trend: censorship of any view that dares to contest the notion that the desire to be the gender opposite one’s inborn physical characteristics is more intrinsic than obvious genetics. In other words, California is on the cusp of outlawing free speech regarding homosexuality and transgenderism.
On April 19, the California Assembly passed by a 50-14 vote AB 2943, which “tells churches and others with traditional beliefs about gender and sexual orientation that advocating for their views could get them sued.” 1
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That’s alarmingly Orwellian. But it’s only one body of California’s government that approved this bill, so don’t worry, right? Consider this: Democrats, who largely support the bill, hold 27 of the state’s 40 senate seats. So if you’re the betting type, placing your money on senate passage would be a pretty safe wager. But then the governor must sign the bill. Two words: Jerry Brown.
When AB 2943 becomes a California law, will it really affect the thinking of other state legislatures? Just north of California are Oregon and Washington. Oregon ranks as the third most liberal state in the nation and Washington as the seventh most liberal. 2 If you think California’s two northern neighbors won’t be influenced by California’s legislation, let’s meet for lunch so I can sell you my collection of adorable pet rocks.
Following its spread along the west coast, the fad will quickly traverse “fly-over country” before taking hold on the east coast. From there it will gradually filter back through other “blue” states. And eventually, under the guise of fairness, it will infiltrate some “purple” and even some “red” states. Unless people of faith rally now.
Here’s where we need to begin:
- Pray. Pray fervently, passionately. Pray as if your freedoms are at stake, because they are.
- Become informed: Read AB 2943, and then read articles that explain it further.
- Help others (family, friends, neighbors, churches) to become informed.
- Write to your legislators; express your disagreement with this kind of legislation.
- Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, again expressing your disagreement with this kind of legislation.
- Instill traditional (and just plain sane) values in your children.
- Persevere. This struggle will not soon end.
As we ponder California’s influence on the nation, consider this: A recent U.S News & World Report quality-of-life ranking placed the Golden State dead last among the 50 states.
Denise Shick is the author of My Daddy’s Secret and Understanding Gender Confusion: A Faith Based Perspective.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.