You’ve probably seen it on bumper stickers or maybe even on a sign recently held around town at a protest rally. But really, it’s not for me, I’m not allowed. That’s right. There are people who want us to COEXIST. They want everyone to get along, but only on their terms. They want everyone to accept each other’s differences, but only within their guidelines. And, apparently, I don’t fit.
I’m not speaking simply from observation, but from personal experience. According to the COEXIST Foundation, they are a non-profit organization creating understanding across divides. Does “understanding” mean forced acceptance? According to most who say they believe in the COEXIST movement this seems to be the case.
For me coexist means that you are allowed to worship your god and I am allowed to worship my God. Neither has to hide in a closet or behind closed doors. It means that you may not understand my beliefs but you allow me to believe them and practice them as my faith requires me to.
COEXISTers will picket and protest and ask that certain religious groups (Christians) refrain from calling abortion murder. Why? It’s what the Bible teaches us. Shouldn’t we be allowed to speak what God teaches? Wouldn’t that be COEXISTing?
COEXISTers will picket and protest and ask that certain religious groups (Christians) refrain from calling the gay or lesbian lifestyle sin even though that’s what the Bible teaches us.
COEXISTers will picket and protest and ask that certain religious groups (Christians) refrain from teaching our kids to abstain from sex before marriage even though it’s what the Bible teaches us.
So, basically, the COEXISTers want us to COEXIST with them but without our “Owner’s Manual”.
As Christians, the Bible is our “Owner’s Manual” with instructions on how we are to live our lives.
The COEXIST Foundation website asks…
“What is it that makes Coexist distinctive among others working to promote better understanding between faiths?”
The problem with this question is that it sounds good, but it doesn’t reflect what’s happening. There were major “rifts” between the COEXIST people and the mainstream Christian and Mormon churches over California’s Prop 8. However, if the goal is to understand then why would they not simply accept that these two groups understood the Bible to say that the sacrament of marriage is between a man and a woman as stated by God?
When the COEXIST people verbally ridicule others for what they believe doesn’t that go against their basic tenants? Are they really trying to understand, I think NOT!
The website goes on to state, “while we recognize and celebrate the many connections between the Abrahamic faiths, we also acknowledge their differences and distinctiveness. We believe we learn more about ourselves and our own traditions by looking respectfully at others’. So Coexist is not just about good relations: it is also about exploring our own convictions and beliefs.”
WOW! Another great statement. But it doesn’t match. Their actions show they are not willing to allow us to live out what we believe. Many who ascribe to the COEXIST philosophy have written nasty things about those of us who live by and adhere to our Biblical principles. If I speak out (not in hate, always in love) about things against God’s word that they may not agree with, they will call me a hater.
Take gay marriage for example. The mainstream Episcopalian church believes in same sex marriage. Mainstream Christian churches believe that God has called us to marry, have children, and repopulate the earth. It’s hard to do this from a same sex position. Yet instead of tolerating that viewpoint, they call us ignorant haters. This does not sound like a group that wants to coexist.
My biggest issue with many on the COEXIST side is that they are quick to let those of us who want to hold strong to our Christian beliefs just how wrong we are. They actively seek us out to picket and write opinion pieces about how they are for equality for all.
But that isn’t really the truth either. Have they ever fought for the Christian kids to have a right to include the name of Jesus in a campus speech? Have they ever fought for the Christian kids to be able to promote their faith on campus through clubs and activities? Do they fight for the any kids to support the rights of the unborn on campus? The answer is “no” to all of the above. But wouldn’t that be “equality for all”?
From what I’ve observed, COEXIST is exclusively for them, but it’s NO-EXIST for us.
If you want equality it goes both ways and applies to everyone.