Bans On Biblical Counseling – With Mat Staver: How many states are fighting bans on biblical counseling? Should governments be able to force certain viewpoints and speech? Are new laws forbidding Christian counselors from offering true help and solutions to clients? Tune in to hear Mat Staver discuss the court battles over bans on biblical counseling and more!
Air Date: 09/27/2022
Guest: Mat Staver
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
Welcome to intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. Thanks for joining us today. We’re taking on all the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective, which is what WallBuilders actually means, it’s rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach. That’s straight out of the Book of Nehemiah.
And of course, back then, without the outer walls, you were destroyed, you were run over. Today, our nation is crumbling, our culture is crumbling because we’re losing the foundations. We allowed the cracks in the foundation, the foundational principles that made the nation great and then we did not repair the breach.
Rebuild the Walls
Now it’s time to do that. It is time to rebuild the walls, rebuild the foundation of America. And there are enough people paying attention that we have a great shot at this. All of a sudden, we have a window of opportunity to convert millions and millions of Americans to the principles of liberty, to understanding the biblical foundation of America and standing for those things.
So when we take on a hot topic here at WallBuilders, we’re always going to look at it from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We’re glad you’re a part of that with us today.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator in America’s Constitution coach. I’m here with Tim Barton, he’s a national speaker and our president here at WallBuilders, David Barton is America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders.
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Alright, David and Tim, Mat Staver with us once again later in the program, a little bit different from our topics with him over the last few months; mostly has been covered crackdown kind of topics where he’s been defended, the military and others. But in this case, we’re going to be talking about counselors, not just in Florida, but across the nation.
Would this Make Sense?
Just imagine, guys, as you go into a counselor to try to stop smoking, now, I know I’m the only cigar smoker probably here, but I mean, you go in to say, please help me stop smoking. And they say no, the government has told me I have to counsel you to smoke more no matter what you actually desire to do. Now, would that make sense to anyone?
Only if Ulysses S. Grant was the counselor you were talking to…
Or Charles Spurgeon. Maybe it was Spurgeon.
Right. But what’s interesting about this too is one of the big moves that we have seen against Christian counselors or counselors who counsel, even from a basic Christian doctrine, the idea that there are certain behaviors, certain physical activities or even inclinations or desires that you shouldn’t be able to say no to.
One of the things that Christians have had a hard time answering and navigating for a while is what about people the argument they were born this way? And we know biologically you can’t say there’s a certain chromosome, there’s something in the DNA that makes someone kind of have an inclination or proclivity toward a certain behavior.
But the reality is this is not a farfetched thought as a Christian to imagine that someone could be born with a sinful human nature and having certain desire. So just like someone can be born with an anger problem, someone can be born with a lust problem, I’m saying born with this, really, there’s a lot of problems we all have, we all have to navigate.
There’s a reason Jesus said that you need to take up your cross daily to follow him. The reason the apostle Paul in Galatians 5 talked about we crucify the flesh and we walk in the Spirit is because we all have fleshly urges that we should not satisfy.
And so if you have a fleshly urge that you are badly against, where Paul even said he had this thorn in the flesh and he prayed, God, remove it, and God’s like, you need to figure this out: My grace is sufficient for you. This whole navigating with Paul, well, nobody really knows what Paul was struggling with.
But the point is everybody has struggles. And the idea that you want to get help and you go to someone saying, hey, how do I overcome my anger problem? I’m an abusive husband and I don’t want to beat my wife anymore. How do I overcome my anger problem? And they’re like, no, really, you should just give in to the anger. You should just beat your wife more like, that’s crazy. What are you talking about?
We would never have that position with anything except what we are hearing now is this argument when it comes to human sexuality is that you can’t tell people from a Christian perspective that, well, we all have inclinations that are not always Godly and we have to learn to crucify those with the flesh and we walk in the spirit, not in the flesh, we walk in the light, not in the darkness.
This is one of the things that Christians have had a hard time answering or even understanding. And I think if we just had a basic understanding of human nature that we’re all born with a sinful fleshly desire, and it’s easy to pass judgment when our temptations are different than someone else’s temptations, right?
They Want Out
When someone else’s temptation is different than ours and we’re like, man, how ridiculous are they that they want crack cocaine? That’s ridiculous. I would never do crack cocaine. As we struggled with whatever issue that we struggle with, everybody has their own struggles. And at times, we can find ourselves being judgmental of other people.
But if we were to recognize everybody has their own struggles and everybody’s struggles can be different, somebody might be insecurity or pride or lust or anger or some of these more sexually inclined proclivities of even homosexuality, and someone says, I don’t want to do that anymore.
We are now living in a world where there are literally leaders saying that if someone is trying to help an individual who is wanting to overcome certain desires, they only allow them to counsel them against certain desires, but not against things like homosexuality. That’s really crazy.
Well. It’s crazy to the point of coercion because you have nearly half the states in the United States and you have dozens of the biggest cities in the nation that have said hey, if somebody comes to you, if you’re a counselor and you happen to be a Christian and they come saying.
Hey, I’m really struggling with this. You have to counsel them that they need to be actively engaged in homosexual LGBT lifestyle. You can’t offer them an out. You can’t offer them an alternative. If they want out, you got to try to keep them in.
And so I don’t know of any other example where the government uses the power of law to say, here’s what you’re going; as a counselor, here’s what you’re going to tell people. Even if they don’t want the outcome, you won’t. You’re going to tell them this.
It is Crazy.
It is absolutely crazy. They call this a ban on conversion therapy, which is a complete misnomer.
That’s not what it is at all. It’s telling Christian counselors, you can’t say that there’s a spiritual side to think. You can’t offer a solution.
You can’t offer spiritual solution. You need to affirm them in what they’re doing, even if they don’t like what they’re doing, and even if they want something different. And that’s just really inexplicable.
And as you can imagine, this is prime ground for a lawsuit to tell Christians… I mean, this is like telling a Jewish rabbi that if someone comes to you with spiritual questions, you have to tell them you have to become a Christian. That’d be crazy to tell a Jewish rabbi he has to tell everyone they have to become Christians.
Well, same thing to come to a Christian counselor and expect to get non-Christian counseling and get a viewpoint that is absolutely contradictory to what that counselor and even what many of the clients want. And yet that’s what government has done.
So as you can imagine, it’s ripe for a lawsuit. And as you can imagine, guys like Kelly Shackleford and First Liberty and people like Alliance Defending Freedom with ADF and Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, this is the kind of stuff they do. And this is exactly what Mat Staver did, got involved in one of these lawsuits. It’s a crazy case, but he’s got at least the first stages of the outcome what’s going on with this and ensure it’s a victory at this point in time.
Mat Staver will be with us when we come back from the break. Stay with us, folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
THE AMERICAN STORY
Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.
And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.
Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Always good to have Mat Staver with us. Lc.org is the website, that’s Liberty Counsel, lc.org, so many victories in the last few weeks. I wish we had 3 hours to talk to Mat. But Mat, thanks so much for coming on, man. Great seeing you and Anita last weekend. Just God bless both of you for what you do and we really appreciate you, but thanks for coming back on the program.
Well, thanks. Always my pleasure and it’s always good to see you.
Well, you’ve had an amazing few weeks here. I mean God has been using Liberty Counsel for some great victories on so many levels health care workers, military veterans.
But one that we haven’t to talk to you in a while is this counselor situation in Florida where kids are trying to get counseling on some of these sexual identity issues, and the government wants to tell counselors what they can and can’t say. You guys stepped in, and it looks like you’ve got another victory here as well.
We did. We got a great victory from the Federal Court of Appeals. And victory strikes down two ordinances, Palm Beach County, Florida, and Boca Raton, Florida, but it also affects Tampa, Florida, where we have another case involving the same identical kind of policy. And these ordinances ban licensed professional counselors from providing counsel that the client actually request with regards to overcoming unwanted same sex attractions, behaviors, and gender confusion.
So when these clients come in, if they want to not act on certain same sex behaviors or sexual orientation feelings, or they want to actually address the confusion that they might have, and they want to become comfortable with how God made them as a boy or a girl, you can’t give that kind of counsel under these ordinances.
To the contrary, what you have to do is exactly the opposite. It’s like getting into your car and you have a GPS, and you’re the driver and you’re the one who sets the destination, the GPS just helps you get there, navigate the traffic in the turns and the various roadways.
That’s what counselors are. They’re like a GPS. They help the client reach their objective. And that’s the historic, fundamental basis of counseling.
But now you get into your car and it’ll take you anywhere you want to, but every time you want to go to a particular destination, it actually takes you 180 degrees in the opposite direction. How frustrating would that be? Well, that’s what these ordinances do. They want the counselors to override the client’s desire and actually have them affirm and move down the road of accepting and living with their unwanted same sex attraction, their gender confusion.
They want to be able to tell a boy that boy can be a girl or a whole combination of who knows what, but they can’t counsel the boy to be comfortable with how God made them. I mean, that’s just unconstitutional. And so this particular federal court of appeals now it’s the first one in the country struck it down as a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.
Mat, it’s, of course, the hot button issue, and it seems like the LGBT community is going to be against anything that steers kids towards normal heterosexuality. But even in the context of heterosexuality, if you had somebody that was going to a counselor to say, hey, I’ve got a sex addiction and I don’t want that anymore.
And I want to be faithful to one person, I want to have a happy marriage, would we want government to be able to say, no, you can’t do that, you have to counsel this person to have multiple sexual partners instead of being able to be in a monogamous relationship?
And that’s how insane this is. And sometimes you have to take it out of the context of LGBT for people to really understand what we’re talking about here in terms of government interference and preventing, as you said, the driver, the individual that’s seeking this council from seeking the council that they desire.
This is landmark. This is huge that you guys won this. I’m assuming this type of thing is happening in other states as well. Was this a state court or a federal court? And do you think this will have an impact in other states?
Court of Appeals
This is a federal Court of Appeals. We actually lost in the lower court, one in the Court of appeals. In the other case out of Tampa, we won in the lower court, and it was pending at the same court of appeals waiting on the result of this case. And so now both of them are going to be struck down.
This is a binding precedent for Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, but it is a high level precedent for the rest of the country because all these ordinances are the same, with maybe a couple of words changed. They all began with California.
And so we litigated the very first case out of California. We lost it at the Court of Appeals. Then the second one we litigated out of New Jersey, and unfortunately, for a different reason, lost there. The Supreme Court decided not to step in. They should have and stopped them back then, but now as a result, because the court did not step in when it was supposed to, we see these in half of the states. About 26 of the states have these bans, and nearly 100 local jurisdictions have these bands as well.
This is the first victory, and the victory follows the US Supreme Court decision that also came out of California that we were also involved in involving crisis pregnancy centers. Back then, the state of California wanted to force these crisis pregnancy centers to refer people out for abortion or abortion referral services.
That went to the US. Supreme Court that was overturned as a violation of the First Amendment. And in doing so, they specifically named the California case involving counselors and the New Jersey case involving counselors. And they abrogated them saying that that was outside of the Supreme Court’s precedent. That then opens the door for us to go back and strike these down.
Handwriting on the Wall
I wish that the government in our case would ask the Supreme Court to take it, but they saw the handwriting on the wall because they fear that going to the Supreme Court will not be good for them. And I agree.
But you’re exactly right, Rick. What you presented with regards to, say, someone who wants to be faithful, having multiple affairs going to someone and saying, I need to be faithful, I’ve had this outside affair. Can you help me?
And then the counselor then says, no, you need to just continue to have your outside affair. Well, that’s not what I want to do. I want to be faithful to my wife. That’s consistent with my values, my biblical understanding. I need to be faithful my wife. No. No. You need to actually have multiple affairs.
As absurd and as dangerous as it sounds, that’s exactly what’s happening in these counseling cases where the government is pushing people to LGBTQ and whatever else, but not allowing these people to get life-saving counsel that they desire and that they need.
And that’s the critical point, that counselor would say that essentially under duress. Even if the counselor believed that what was better for the person and wanted to serve the person in the way they wanted to be served, the government’s forcing the counselor to say those things.
And I guess just like the case in California that you had, I mean, both of these situations are the opposite of free speech, it’s forced speech. And that’s what the court was saying, was, that’s not going to happen in America; we’re not going to allow governments to force people to say things that are actually against what they actually believe.
Absolutely. Because it not only forces your speech, and it forces the specific viewpoint of your speech. So you can talk about the subject matter of same sex attractions, gender confusion, but you can only do it from a pro standpoint, pushing people down the road they don’t want to go down. But you can’t provide the opposite where they want to get away from those attractions, they want to control, they want to overcome those unwanted feelings, they want to be content with how God made them. That’s banned under these ordinances.
So this is the first case in the country that the Court of Appeal striking them down. Our goal is to make sure they’re all struck down across the country. And I have no doubt when we get one of these to the US Supreme Court, we’re ultimately going to win, and they’ll be stricken across the United States. These are politically motivated, pro-LGBTQ kind of agendas from these governments, and they are unconstitutional. Because not only do they violate free speech, Rick, they interfere with the patient-doctor, the counselor-client relationship, and they’re harmful.
We’ve had people say, I was on the verge of committing suicide because I had these unwanted feelings, and I had life-saving counsel from this counselor and that protected me and brought me back off the edge. Unfortunately, I fear that so many people are not able to get this counsel, and that’s why time is of the essence to strike them down around the country.
Amen. Amen. Well, huge, huge victories. Before I let you go, if you could, just a quick update on some of the military cases that you’ve got. Apparently, the DoD Inspector General kind of did a slap down of the military for not following what the courts have said in the cases that you’ve had and some of our other friends. We’ve been winning on these religious exemptions, but the military is just ignoring it.
Yeah, we’ve been winning on the religious exemptions. We now have four class wide injunctions protecting the Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Marines. And the last two are Coast Guard and Army.
We’re working on Coast Guard and Army as we speak as well. But the DoD Inspector General now has looked at what we’ve looked at and the evidence that we provided in the courts and they looked at it independently, and they included the same thing: the department of defense is violating federal law and they’re violating their own regulations. They’re just rubber stamping these denials and that’s impermissible under both federal law and the Department of Defense regulations.
So this is a good another help for us to strike these things down across the entire branch of all six military branches. But the fight is not over, because even when we get these injunctions, you have some of these commanders saying, well, we’re going to just do what we want to do and we have to bring these guys to accountability. And if they don’t abide by these court orders, they will be drawn into court and held in contempt. They’ll either pay fines or they’re going to go to jail. We’re going to make sure that they abide by these court orders.
The abuse that is being inflicted on our servicemen and women is just unconscionable and it’s hurting military readiness and frankly, it’s hurting military recruitment as well.
Yeah, it’s had a massive impact on both of those things. It’s illogical. It’s ridiculous. And now I wonder how it will affect your cases that even the president finally says that the pandemic is over. So if the pandemic is over, then why do they continue to treat people this way and drum them out of the military for not getting the job? I hope that has a positive impact, but he’s still keeping the emergency orders even though it’s supposedly over because they don’t want to give up the power.
You’ve got so many cases. I could spend hours with you, brother. Lc.org is the website, folks. You need to get on the email list. I really enjoy reading your emails and staying up on what’s going on. That’s the easiest way to do that. And, folks, this costs money. You need fuel in the tank to be able to handle these unbelievable numbers of cases across the country and have the attorneys to, I mean, if you’re going to win, you’ve got to have good folks that are able to do this effectively.
That takes dollars. So Lc.org, make a contribution there. As you start thinking about your end of your contributions, think about a significant one this year to Lc.org, they are doing amazing work and we want to come alongside them.
Mat Staver, God bless you, brother. I look forward to seeing you again soon, and we look forward to having you back to talk about some more victories.
Sounds good, Rick, always good and pleasure to be with you.
Thanks again to Mat Staver for joining us from Liberty Counsel and for some more good news on cases, including this one out of Florida, that it sounds like that is going to affect other states as well, even though he said it’s only holding in those three states in the 11th Circuit, but still a great precedent to begin to win these battles across the country for counselors that simply are trying to meet the needs of their patient that’s coming in and not have the government micromanage what’s going on between a patient and their doctor.
The Supreme Court’s Answer
This is much bigger than this, it’s LGBTQIA+ movement. You go back five, six, seven years, the nation just wanted people to get along, they didn’t want fights between the groups. So just let everybody alone, it was kind of live and let live. Unless you were a florist and then you are going to do an LGBTQ wedding, even if you disagree with it, and if you’re a photographer and if you’re a wedding designer, or if you got websites and suddenly the LGBTQ community was saying:
You’re going to do this — participate in what I want you to, I’m not going to let you alone. And people talk about a theocracy and how Christians want to cram it down other side’s throat. That’s just not the case that happens most of the time. It’s the other side that does it.
And so we did some polling, I think it was about three and a half years ago, there was a case at the Supreme Court that dealt with some of this and that case at the Supreme Court we did the polling because those arguing the case wanted to know, what is the position of the American people in this? What do the people think about this type of stuff?
And where are they when there’s a conflict between religion and LGBTQ? And went through a lot of polling, and the data was pretty clear. Overwhelmingly, the American people said, you guys just need to get along with each other. You just need to all get along. And we kept saying, alright, but what if you can’t get along? Well, you need to get along.
And so it finally came down to if one side has to win or the other, if it’s got to be LGBTQ wins or faith wins, which is going to be? 86% of Americans said faith should not have to submit to LGBTQ. They said faith should have the right to practice their own perspective if you guys can’t get along. And the getting along is not on the faith side, it’s on the LGBTQ side.
The LGBTQ Agenda
And it goes back, you see this clearly in the Bible, and you see it in Genesis 19, you see it in Judges 19, where when Abraham heard from God that, hey, I think I’m going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but I won’t do it unless I look at it first. And angels went in, and they met with Lot and Lot didn’t know they were angels. And that night, all these guys in town came and said to the angels, hey, come out and have sex with us.
We want you to come out. And lots of, no, no, you don’t want to do that. Let me send my daughters out. You can have sex with my daughters. And they just kept pushing and said, no, it’s going to be, you’re going to send them out. You’re going to have sex with us.
And they kept demanding that you do their lifestyle. They wouldn’t leave Lot alone. They wouldn’t leave the strangers alone. And so that’s when the angel struck them with blindness and got Lot and his family out of town and then rain fire and brimstone.
But you see the same thing again in Judges 19, where that one guy’s trying to just be left alone, and the other side, the LGBTQ side, says, no, you’re going to come out and affirm us. You’re going to participate with us. You’re going to affirm what we’re doing. And it was the same kind of problem.
So this really is a thing where the first lawsuit is now being won on this, and I think it’s going to go much, much wider because this completely violates the First Amendment right of conscience. To tell someone you have to do your conscience is objective, but I’m going to make you go out and shoot guys in war, we don’t do that in America.
It’s just not what we do. And so to have laws in half the United States, and as Mat said, 26 states and 100 jurisdictions, to have those kind of laws that say you have to participate in LGBTQ stuff, that’s just not going to hold water in the long run, I don’t think.
And I think the American people will definitely side with faith on this, because in the polling we saw three years ago, and I don’t think it’s changed that much in that period of time, they definitely did not think that faith should have to submit to LGBTQ practices. So good that Mat is doing this, and I think it’s part of a wave that’s coming.
Bans On Biblical Counseling – With Mat Staver
Alright, friends, out of time for today, but you can get more at wallbuilderslive.com. We have an archive section there, so I know sometimes you can’t listen every day to the program. Even my favorite podcast or favorite programs out there, I’m not able to listen to every day. So if you want to go listen and grab some of the programs from the past few weeks and months, they’re all available at our website wallbuilderslive.com, you, of course, get the interviews Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
And then Foundations of Freedom Thursday, that’s our chance to answer your questions, which you can send in to us anytime. You can email those to [email protected], [email protected]. We cover as many of those as we can on Thursday. It could be a question about the Founding Fathers, constitutional application, biblical application, but that’s our Foundation of Freedom Thursday.
And then Fridays are Good News Friday. I don’t know about you, but
In some men, the expected effect occurs after fifteen-thirty minutes but in the majority comes in 40-60 minutes, and the maximum concentration in the blood in about 2 hours. Food intake does not affect the absorption of the drug.
there’s not really a week that goes by right now in this culture and the craziness that’s going on that I don’t need some encouragement. I love Friday programs because David and Tim Barton, they scour what’s going on out there across the nation and they compile all these good news stories because there are a lot of good news items out there.
There’s a lot of victories taking place, despite all the ugliness, all the bad and the ugly, there’s still some good. And we’ve always been like that, teaching the good, the bad and the ugly, we want to teach it all, but we love to emphasize the good as well. Does the heart good. I like that encouragement. I’m sure you do as well.
So if you need some of that, even today, go to wallbuilderslive.com, check out the archive section, and grab some of those Good News Friday programs, and you’ll hear about some of the victories across the nation. We surely appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.