by James A. Wilson
One of my favorite Biblical characters is a lady named Hadassah; her Greek rendering as Esther is more widely known. Hadassah was selected to compete for the right to become Queen of Persia. She was unique in one key respect; she was Jewish. During the competition one of the king’s nobles – a bully of (duh) Biblical proportions – became enraged when a Jew refused to kneel in his presence; he hatched a plot to slaughter all Jews. Meanwhile, Hadassah married the King.
When her Uncle Mordecai – he who would not kneel – told her of the plot he added, “You were born for such a time as this.” Hadassah went to her husband at the risk of her own life – no one was permitted to enter King Xerxes’ presence without invitation – and begged the king to thwart the bully. Haman was hanged on his own gallows and the Jews eventually returned to Judea, a thing not contemplated before the plot against them. God – through her obedience – reversed the situation so thoroughly He left them in a better position than before the trouble began.
Hadassah Carter is a Virginia real estate agent and outspoken Christian. Her profession is in jeopardy because she dares to post emblems of her faith on her web site, emails, and business card. The Virginia Board of Realtors has acted against her for publishing materials “associated with Christianity, indicating a preference or limitation based on religion in violation of the Virginia Fair Housing Law,” according to The News Virginian. The newspaper reports the state would ease off if she capitulated, but she instead filed a lawsuit against the state for – my words – bullying her with the full force of the state government.
Let’s just back this truck up and get our story straight. Carter has a lot more in common with her famous namesake than anybody realizes.
Carter is a private citizen, not a public official. The Real Estate Board is a governmental entity. Fair Housing laws do not trump constitutional rights; yet Virginia’s government is restricting the free speech and faith of a citizen. The complaint against her does not allege discrimination; that would be illegal and her constitutional rights would not protect her. But no one has accused her of actual discrimination; the board claims the mere prominence of such identifying language could inhibit people who might otherwise seek her services.
It gets worse. The newspaper reporting on Carter had the gall to write, “She could have removed the material and continued working under extra scrutiny…” In other words, this woman serving her Lord and bearing witness to her faith is told the persecution could stop if only she apologized and promised not to antagonize the bullies in the future; the bullies would of course be watching her and shortening her leash in that future.
I could say this type of bullying – claiming by doing nothing wrong Hadassah somehow incites wrongdoing – is typical of the good-old-boy culture of the South; I lived there several years and witnessed the consequences whenever someone crossed – not the wrong line but – the wrong person. However, although this kind of good-old-boy culture is a stereotype of the South, it is just as prevalent in the many American cities in every region where mayors order police to stand down when peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and even bystanders, are savagely assaulted by Antifa thugs. It is the same when developers steal people’s land and home under eminent domain because the city wants increased tax revenue, and it is identical from California to Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, whose governments persecute businesspersons for not catering to political correctness when they exercise their faith in their businesses. And it is wrong.
It is wrong and it needs to be stopped in all of its many-headed-hydra forms. But what is right enough to displace what is so colossally wrong?
When the Obergefell Decision came down from the Supreme Court mandating same sex marriages across the nation the Lord spoke in clear English. He said He permitted this trashing of the Constitution so the Church would have to become the authentic Church, also known as His Body. That means we supply the limbs and the voice while He supplies the heart, the mind, and the courage. And – like the men who lowered the paralyzed man through the roof so Jesus could heal him – we have to choose to submit to the heart and mind and exercise the courage.
In practical terms it means we accept our responsibility to call our culture higher than petty bullying – whether or not the culture is willing. It means we first love the bullies, seeking victory in such a way it leads to life even for them. His mind offers specific strategies – seldom comfortable – and His heart pulls us back from the brink of becoming the very haters we oppose. His courage – chosen – moves us to demonstrate, reason, and resist even to the point of the civil disobedience that broke the Iron Curtain and freed black and white Americans alike from the degradation of Jim Crow.
This must be an across-the-board movement that ultimately neutralizes everything from proposed laws that prohibit counselors from addressing patients struggling against same sex attractions and compel doctors to perform abortions to bureaucrats putting people out of business for honoring their faith and even the violence of Antifa subsidized by police inaction. It will be a long and dangerous fight – fought with God’s weapons rather than our own – and it will lead us into a culture of life.
Hadassah Carter – and all people of faith – you were born for such a time as this.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books or at firstname.lastname@example.org