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OPINION

FIRST-PERSON: When opposing homosexuality threatens your job

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BP) -- In New Jersey, the Township of Union Public School District has suspended a special education teacher named Viki Knox because she sat in her own home, on her own computer, and expressed her Christian faith on her personal Facebook page.
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After seeing a quasi-shrine that had been erected at her school, honoring Harvey Milk, Neil Patrick Harris, and Virginia Woolf for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History month, Knox expressed disapproval of "homosexuality based on her Christian faith."

Just think of it -- although the Bible unequivocally denounces practicing homosexual behavior, groups like Garden State Equality have come out against Knox as if she invented Christianity's teaching on homosexual practices, and they're actually calling for her to lose her job.

Said Garden State Equality chair Steven Goldstein: "I find what she wrote on Facebook endangers the learning atmosphere for students beyond repair and violates the school district's own policy of a safe and comfortable environment for all. She's no longer in a position to teach in the classroom because she will make many students fearful of her hatred."

Ever notice how some like to argue for everyone to have an opinion and the freedom to express it until a person has and expresses an opinion that runs counter to theirs? Once that point is reached, the individual is accused of espousing "hatred," even if what she expressed on her Facebook page was: "The display should not be in the high school. is not the setting to promote, encourage, support, and foster homosexuality."

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This point is made even more poignant when one considers the fact that Knox went out of her way to say that she prays for those who are persecuting her and tells them that God loves them (which is now apparently the same thing as expressing "hatred").

In responding to some of the hateful comments that were made about her, Knox wrote that she doesn't "even use the word hate" unless she's expressing how much she hates being lied about. Rather, she said she has "used words such as unnatural, ungodly, and immoral" to describe the practice of homosexual behavior.

Ironically the Apostle Paul used very similar wording when he warned mankind that individuals practicing homosexual behavior were rushing headlong toward God's judgment:

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Knox was very clear in her Facebook entries about the fact that she has family and friends who "practice alternative lifestyles" that she does "not condone or support." Yet she does not force them from her life or withhold her love from them. Rather, she wrote that "Christ draws us all through a love so vast and encompassing that our human minds continue to fail to comprehend ... it."

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It appears that the minds at Garden State Equality only hear "hate" when Knox says "love," and only see aggression when Knox extends compassion. But that's not Knox's fault, and she shouldn't be penalized for expressing her faith or her opinion, even if Garden State Equality is of the opinion that she should.

Byron Babione is senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (www.telladf.org), a legal alliance working to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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