Bar the Doors?? The Church in an Increasingly Litigious America
Prophet or not, lawyers agree with McCombs' prediction of a legal attack on religious nonprofits and churches. The Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, has created a new legal climate across the United States, and what once was considered sacred "American religious liberty" has been overshadowed by homosexual "civil rights." Pastors are worried courts may try to force their churches to recognize gay marriage or hire gay employees.
"My phone was ringing off the hook there for a few days," said Lane Moore, the director of the Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association, which helped organize a July seminar for up to 400 local pastors and church leaders in response to the Obergefell ruling. Moore said pastors repeatedly asked him, "What are we going to do? What are we going to do?"
Pastors need not panic, but half a dozen attorneys and legal experts WORLD contacted agreed the risks are real. Although churches are likely safe for the time being, they need to take concrete steps to maximize their legal protections. The question: Will they be able to do so without isolating themselves from the surrounding communities many hope to serve?