NYC Reconsidering Ban On Biblical Counseling: What the Bible teaches us has so many universal principles that apply to everyone. However, they are now trying to criminalize moral and Biblical choices. So now we are facing the potential to have what has been standard rules of behavior for centuries penalized. Will they go through with these bans? Tune in now to find out.

Air Date: 10/08/2019

Guest: Mat Staver

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

A “biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective” means that every issue of the day can be addressed by the Bible because the Bible speaks to every single issue of the day, really to everything about us. It’s God’s instruction manual; he knows how our brain, our body, our relationships, and the government best work. So, if we’ll take that instruction manual and apply it to whatever’s happening in our life, whatever we’re addressing at the time, we will get the right answer.

And, of course, a historical perspective allows us to confirm that by looking at what works and what doesn’t work. Then, a constitutional perspective makes sure that we can obey and fulfill the law of the land, make sure that it’s being applied correctly, and if necessary, modify that. That’s why we have legislatures across the country.

And, that’s why we address those political issues of the day here on WallBuilders Live! as well. We are so thrilled that you are with us today and know you’re gonna enjoy today’s program. If you’re a frequent listener to WallBuilders Live! we would encourage you to go to WallBuildersLive.com today and consider making a donation.

You know, we’re a listener-supported program, which means we need listeners supporting the program. And, we do have a lot of you out there that contribute and make that possible; so, thank you very much for doing that. If you’ve never done that before, it’s really easy.

You click on the “donate” button, fill out your information, and make a one-time or monthly donation. We greatly appreciate all of you out there that do that and hope that those of you that have been listening for a while are benefiting from the program, hopefully getting equipped and inspired, and out there taking action. We’ll also take that action at the website today.

What Is God’s Code All About?

Let’s dive into our program today Mat Staver’s gonna be our special guest a little bit later in the program. You know, I’ve always got that opening about how we’re looking at things from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Let’s zero in on “biblical” the day, because some people think that means “just a bunch of rules” and that God’s trying to keep us from having any fun.

DAVID:

Yes, not so. And, that’s in every area. But, God told his people when he gave them His–if you want to say “rules”– when he gave them His code, He said, “Look; these things are for your benefit. If you will obey the things that I’m telling you, you will live long and have a prosperous life.”

That was Deuteronomy. But, in the book of Exodus, He said, “If you will live by the health code I give you, you won’t have all the diseases the Egyptians had. You’ll have a whole different style of life that’ll be healthy.”

And, there are just so many places where it says: “Everything I’m telling you is for your good. If you do this, it is to your benefit.” So, even from a pragmatic sense, if I just want to benefit myself, following God’s rules and God’s laws will do that.

That’s a very positive thing. It’s a comprehensive code, by the way. I mean, it’s not just in spiritual areas.

It is an educational areas, areas of government and foreign policy. The areas of economics, morality, and family are covered. I mean, He gives us a very comprehensive code, and it’s all for our benefit.

TIM:

Well, even things having to do with relationships or marriage. If we didn’t say, “Follow the Bible,” but said, “For every marriage to be successful, here’s what you need to do: serve the other person; put their needs before your own; give yourself for them; honor them,” right? If you just followed some basic principles and if each person did that for the spouse–

So, the husband does it for the wife; the wife does it for the husband. If you would do this, then each person is getting fully served, loved, and honored by the other person. And, you go, “Man, this is awesome,” right, “what my wife does for me; or, “It’s awesome what my husband does for me.”

Judeo-Christian Standards

That’s actually what the Bible teaches in Ephesians 5. You can read in First Corinthians. And, there are several places you can point to in Scripture where what the Bible teaches us is not a rigid code of do’s and don’ts; although, there certainly are some do’s and don’ts.

But, even inside the dos and don’ts, God gives us freedom and says, “There are consequences if you don’t do that. There are consequences if you do this, both positive and negative.”

DAVID:

And, let me add too that some of those do’s and don’ts are very explicit. It really boils down to–if you just read it like you would, “Don’t put your hand on a hot stove.” You know, “Well, that’s restrictive; if I want to put my hand on a hot stove—“

He tells us that don’t for our benefit, not just to have a rule to follow. Every don’t is for our benefit.

TIM:

Well, right. And, this is the point. What we are told is something, that even if we said, “Okay, if this was not the code revealed from Heaven, it would still be the best principles to live life and operate as a society.” Even if this was not the revealed Word of God—which we believe it is—even if it wasn’t, we would still be saying, “Okay, the Judeo-Christian ethic, this code is the best standard for a society to function by, the best standard for individuals, because it produces the best families, individuals, work ethic.

It has the greater levels of productivity, does more to help the poor and needy or the widows and orphans, does more to help a society function on every single level than anything else. Again, even if this wasn’t the revealed Word of God—which we believe it is—this is still a principle and standard by which we should govern our lives.

And, ultimately it revolves around loving God and loving people, which is a really good standard to live. But, it is absolutely beneficial. The better we follow God’s standards, the more joy, peace, even biblical prosperity we enjoy, because that’s what is a natural consequence of doing things God’s way.

Criminalizing God’s Do’s and Don’ts

DAVID:

But, we’re in a position now where the civil government is starting to step in and say, “Hey, the do’s and don’ts in the Bible in this area, you can’t follow them anymore. As a matter of fact, we’re going to actually criminalize if you follow the do’s and don’ts in the Bible in certain moral areas or other areas.”

So, we’re now looking at a situation that we haven’t seen, certainly in our lifetime, in America. And, it is really hard to even find historical examples of this in four centuries of America, where civil government is now penalizing and actually criminalizing living out what for four centuries, were just standard rules of behavior. So, it really is a unique situation we’re starting to find in America.

RICK:

And so, we’re saying, “Look; here’s the book that has all the answers. It’s gonna give you really good advice and instruction on every single area of your life. Yet we’re at a point in our culture where we’re actually going to criminalize even being able to share that advice.

We’ve got to take a quick break guys. We’ll be right back and talk about the solution to this. You will actually hear some good news towards the end of the program on where this is going in the culture.

Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

Pastors Only Briefing Trip

Tim:

Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors. You can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation.

Not just seeing the sights, but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent. We get to go to the Capitol at night.  And, we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from.

We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C. If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com.

And, there’s a link that’s for scheduling.  If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor’s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.

RICK:

Welcome back. It’s for staying with us here on Wall Builders Live! All right.

Government Criminalizing the Sharing of Biblical Advice

David, Tim, if this is the best instruction manual in the world and has been proven so throughout history, why is the culture saying ‘no’ to this? What are these things that are that are happening, David, that you were referring to were government’s actually saying, “We’re going to prevent and even criminalize sharing this biblical advice?”

TIM:

Well, Rick, I’m going to start first because one of the things that has become a challenge in culture that now to call things “sinful” is considered to be hateful or bigoted: “Well, you can’t say that’s sinful.” Will, the reason that we look at sin—one of the things that the Bible tells us is that sin produces death. And, this isn’t just a spiritual, eternal death; No, it can produce death in the natural, in the sense of what it does in relationships or our physical body.

Sin has natural, even physical, consequences. When children disrespect and disobey their parents and are growing up cussing and yelling at their parents, that’s not going help their relationship. It actually brings destruction to that relationship, whereas if you honor your father and mother, it actually can produce positive things in that dynamic in relationship.

And so, when the Bible talks about sin, one of the amazing things, certainly as Christians, is we see that as Christians, we can become a new creation or “born again.” Our sinful past can die away and under the Cross, we can crucify the flesh. We now can walk in the spirit because we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.

This is something we recognize: all of us are sinners and need a Savior. And, where we used to acknowledge that we’ve all been born into sin and now want to no longer walk in sin or gratify the flesh anymore but want to do something different—there have been people for years, pastors and counselors, who have helped people struggling with sin like addictions and different issues. They’ve tried to counsel them through those situations.

Hindering Counselors and Pastors

We are now in a position in America where we are literally telling pastors and counselors that there are certain things that the Bible describes as sin, that you can be born in with sinful, fleshly human nature. Everybody is born with sin; but, there are certain sins that now, we will no longer let—“we” meaning the government—the government will no longer let pastors or counselors try to help people overcome that sin in their life even, if they want to.

DAVID:

Yes, and specifically that is the area of LGBTQ issues. It is not traditional sexual morality, but what has long been considered to be other types of sexual behavior that the Bible says is not good for you. And so, as people have come and said, “Hey, I don’t want to be like this and have these desires,” they’ve been given biblical guidance and things that can help them.

And they go, “Oh great. Now I can overcome this.” So, there are many, many stories of overcomers. But, now the government is stepping in, saying, “Wait a minute. If there’s someone that that thinks they’re homosexual or are having homosexual desires, we don’t want you to try to move them away from that, even if they want to.”

Conversion Therapy

So, this is what critics call “conversion therapy.” In other words, you’re trying to convert someone away from being homosexual. And, even if they want to, you can’t do that conversion therapy.

And, they’ve made it seem really ugly, brutal, barbaric, and like something out of the Middle Ages kind of torture stuff, which it’s not. It’s counseling, people coming for counseling. And so, what has happened now is, in 18 states it has become illegal to counsel someone to “convert them” away from homosexuality.

So, even if they come to you and say, “I want help with this desire and want to be different,” you can’t do that. As a matter of fact, one of the states now requires that anyone who comes to you for counseling, you have to affirm where they are. And, we wouldn’t do this for any other behavior.

You know, if I come to you with an addiction to cigarettes. Well, you’re going to affirm my addiction, saying how good that is for me and how I need to keep it. So, what the government is now requiring is that you cannot counsel someone who wants a different lifestyle.

And, one state even requires you to affirm that. Now we’ve got—I don’t know—50 or 60 different cities like Milwaukee, Miami, Cincinnati, Denver, Palm Beach, et cetera that have also passed city bans where the counselors in the city—and a pastor serves as a counselor. I mean, that’s just part of what they do.

So, a counselor whether they’re a professional, pastor, or otherwise, cannot counsel a young person who comes to them on this particular issue. Now, you can counsel them on anything else, but not this issue. This is absolutely crazy.

New York recently passed a really strict ban against this type of stuff. And, it was challenged in court. So, Mat Staver, who is a great constitutional attorney, has got a great perspective on what’s happening with this as well as what’s going to happen with it.

RICK:

Mat Staver is our special guest. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.

And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

Welcome Mat Staver from Liberty Counsel

RICK:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! Mr. Staver is back with us from Liberty Counsel. Man, I’m starting to feel like this is the Mat Staver and WallBuilders show.

MAT STAVER:

Well, it’s good to be with you.

RICK:

We love having you on. Thanks for giving us so much time. What is going on in New York City?

It sounds like they’re actually making a good decision, maybe not for the reasons we would. But, are they reversing this ban on counseling for folks that are struggling with same-sex attraction?

MAT STAVER:

Yeah, they see the handwriting on the wall. This is a city that actually used these counseling bans but took it to another level. And, they’re banning counseling in this ordinance for everyone, including adults.

A Good Decision in New York

And, they realized that that’s not going to be a very good ordinance for them to defend. Plus, if they lose that, it goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it doesn’t—certainly it could—that would ultimately nix the counseling bans across the country. So, because they did not want to create bad precedent, they are now going to repeal this law.

There’s no question that when they paint the target bigger and go beyond minors which is unconstitutional already frankly, and it’s just a matter of when, not if, the Supreme Court will strike all of these down. But, when they broaden it to adults, they knew that they crossed the line and made their case very difficult to defend. So, that’s why they’re backing down.

RICK:

And, this is based on—give me a little bit of legal theory here. So, this is saying you’ve got a—well, there’s a free market issue here—but there’s also just a freedom of speech issue here. What do you what do you when you argue this case? What are your main points?

MAT STAVER:

Well, the main points is that it certainly violates free speech and undermines the very essence of counseling because these laws prohibit counselors from providing minor clients and their parents from receiving any counsel seeking to overcome unwanted, same-sex attraction behaviors or gender confusion. And, this really forces the counselor to not provide the counsel that would help and that the client is actually seeking.

Imposing the State’s Views on Clients

Moreover, it requires the counselor to impose the state’s view on the client. So, say for example, a person comes in who has unwanted, same-sex attractions or they’re having gender confusion. They want to align their feelings with their value system, not go down the road of homosexuality, taking hormones to have different kinds of body changes of the opposite sex.

And so, they’re seeking help but instead of getting help that they seek for this unwanted attraction, behavior, or identity, the counselor can not only not give them the help, but has to impose on them a different perspective and essentially say, “Don’t worry about it. I know you don’t want to be homosexual, or identify as a girl if you’re a boy, or vice versa, but you just need to get used to it and do it anyway.”

It’s like someone coming into a counselor and saying they’ve got a lot of stress or anxiety and the counselor, instead of trying to help them reach the result of overcoming that, says to the person, “You have to just live with it; that’s who you are. You’ve got to accept it and embrace the fact that you’re going to be depressed for the rest of your life.” I mean, you don’t want to hear that; it’s dangerous to the person who’s receiving the counseling.

RICK:

Yes, and that’s even if the counselor knows they have a solution for the client but can’t use it.

MAT STAVER:

Exactly; some of these counselors that we represent have themselves been involved in unwanted, same-sex attractions. In one case we represent a male. The other time, we represent a female counselor.

Both of them had been sexually abused when they were younger and got in same-sex relationships. And, through the power of Jesus Christ, they changed and ended up becoming counselors. They counsel on a wide range of issues.

And, they not only have professional experience but personal experience in this specific area. And, when a client comes in and ultimately exposes their heart to them and realizes they have not only the expertise but the experience to help them, they’re not able to. In fact, they have to go in the opposite direction from what the client wants.

Viewpoint Discrimination in Florida

RICK:

And, you pointed out in your Florida case that this is viewpoint discrimination. This is saying, “You can’t actually even express your own view. In fact, we’re going to force you to express a view that you don’t even have.”

And, you had a case like this last year. I guess it was a case out of California, where they were forcing pro-life groups to have a pro-abortion message.

MAT STAVER:

That’s exactly right, and the Supreme Court, in that case, struck down the law. And, in doing so, they actually named the two original counselling cases that, in fact, we litigated, but they went the wrong way. We warned the courts below not to go that route. But, California and New Jersey, the courts of appeals there upheld the counseling bans that created a new category of speech called “professional speech.”

“Professional Speech”   

And they said that professionals don’t have the same protection of the First Amendment because it’s “professional speech.” And, the Supreme Court said, “We’re not agreeing with that. We’ve never created a category of professional speech,” and they expressly overruled those cases by name.

So, that’s why I say, “It’s not a matter of if the Supreme Court will strike this down.” It’s just a matter of when we get the fact pattern back to the Supreme Court, because they’ve already issued the legal ruling that this kind of new category of speech, to regulate it and require counselors to either be quiet or to actually say a message required by the state, is unconstitutional.

RICK:

Now wait a minute, Mat. You can’t say any of that because you’re a professional; and, this is professional speech on radio right now. So, you can only say what the state says you can say.

MAT STAVER:

Well, in fact, that’s what the Supreme Court said. They said that if you had this category of “professional speech,” then states could restrict anything.

RICK:

That’s right.

Supreme Court Ruled It Unconstitutional

MAT:

They could just simply say, “Well, if you’re a truck driver, that’s a professional. Therefore, we can’t allow you to speak because you’ve got a license from the state.” That’s why they said, “This is unconstitutional, and we’re not going to accept it.”

RICK:

Well, wow, man, Orwellian. This is this is crazy. Well, it’s good news that we’re on the winning side there and that the New York City even sees that and hopefully will reverse this ban.

Mat, these victories wouldn’t be happening without guys like you out there who are being used by God to give us great victory. So, thank you for your brilliance, your strategy, and all that Liberty Council does. LC.org is the website, correct?

LC.org

MAT:

LC.org; that’s right.

RICK:

LC.org, you can follow these cases there and contribute to Liberty Counsel, help them continue to do this great work. We so appreciate your time, Mat, and appreciate you coming on today.

MAT STAVER:

Thank you. It’s my pleasure.

RICK:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Alexis De Tocqueville, a political official from France, traveled to the United States in 1831 and penned his observations in the now famous book, “Democracy In America.”

Being from France, what he found in America was completely unexpected to him. He reported, “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. And, the longer I stayed there the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But, in America I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

Did Tocqueville recognized that it was Biblical Christianity and the morals it produced that made America great? For more information about Alexis Tocqueville and the positive influence of Christianity in early America go to WallBuilders.com.

RICK:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on Wall Builders Live! And, thanks to Mat Staver from Liberty Council for joining us as well.

Guys, I had no idea that his cases in these other states had been referred to by the Supreme Court in that case. So, that’s all very good news.

I’m surprised to see New York City backing off and reversing course. But, he laid it out why. I mean, they really don’t have a choice.

The Liberal’s Strategic Plans

TIM:

Yeah, one of the things that is certainly true that see on the other side, is they’re very strategic. And, they often have very well-thought-out plans. They said, “You know what? We don’t want to see this overturned; so, let’s just pull this one back.”

And, I’m sure they’re going to try to rewrite something because New York has become a state that is increasingly liberal and secular. So, this is something that I speculate they will rewrite and pass to where they think they can uphold a challenge.

Although certainly, with some shifting courts, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds because I can’t imagine that if somebody was going to a church, and it was a male who had a same-sex attraction to another male, thinking to themselves, “Man, I don’t want to feel this way.”

And, they go talk to the pastor and say, “Pastor, I don’t know what to do because I know this isn’t the design that that God has for me and isn’t really normal, but I’m not sure how to handle this.” And, now we’re seeing that pastors can’t give them any guidance, other than to say, “No, you know what? Go for it; it’s good. Embrace it.”

Even the pastor knows it’s wrong. So, that doesn’t make any sense, from the standpoint of what some of these laws are doing, to say that no counselor can give any counsel that opposes the position and behaviors that the state says should always be affirmed, even if someone doesn’t like it.

Now, again Mat pointed out, this would be different for adults than it is to kids because probably in a lot of these states, we’re just telling kids t o just kind of embrace these feelings they don’t want to have. We want to normalize it for adults. We’re going to give them a choice.

It’s a very weird and confused world we live in which is all the more reason that we need to have clarity. And, Christians need to stand up and help in these situations. But, it makes no sense at all that we would target churches and pastors and say, “You no longer can present help for people that want help.”

Controlling People

RICK:

And, it seems like everybody from all sides would be against this idea of literally controlling people to the point of controlling what kind of advice they can get. I mean, if we switched the issue here and described the situation, I think most people in America would say, “That’s bad; governments should not be controlling your choices on who you can get advice from.”

DAVID:

Well, what we do know is that with the Millennials and the Gen Z-ers, morally speaking, in polling they’re much more favorable toward the LGBTQ community. But, we’ve also seen that in the last two years, among millennials particularly, their support for that community has been plummeting. I mean, really sky rocketing downward; I guess you can’t sky rocket downward.

But, it’s been dropping radically. And, it’s because of this kind of extremism. They’re seeing this kind of coercion coming out of the LGBTQ community, and these guys {were} saying, “Hey, just leave us alone; let us be like everybody else.” And, that’s not the case now.

They’re really trying to coerce their beliefs. And, that’s not going well even with Millennials and Gen Z-ers.

The Younger Generation Longs for Freedom.

RICK:

Yeah, I mean, one of the things about this younger generation is they long for freedom. They want freedom and don’t want to be told what to do. These guys don’t want government telling them what to do.

NYC Reconsidering Ban On Biblical Counseling

So, even if they don’t think they agree with conservatives or Christians politically, when they see government having this kind of infringement upon basic liberties of simply being able to get the advice that you want or give the advice that you truly believe, even they say, “Wait a minute. That’s not right either.

“We can disagree on perhaps the policy or the particular issue; but, we certainly agree on the fact that government should not dictate to people what to think or what kind of advice to give.”

So, this is a there’s a winning issue for conservatives, and we should be certainly not afraid to talk about these things or to defend these things. So, thank you to Mat Staver for being someone willing to stand up for truth and fight these battles for us through Liberty Counsel.

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