As of February 8, 2011, Manhattan, Kansas has created a new mentality for the state. The message is clear: “Christians, beware.” There is a new sheriff in town that goes by the name of LGBT. The acronym “LGBT” stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and this organization and those that follow under its rainbow banners now wield the power to start a legalized process that could very well shut down local businesses in the city of Manhattan. This new ordinance alteration sends a clear message that the state itself is in an uncertain state of moral decline.
For the gay activist group LGBT, the process for passing a law counter to historical Judeo-Christian values found in the Bible Belt was simple. They just had to keep lobbying and placing pressure on city officials until a liberal voting power block was present that would subvert the majority’s will for the political initiatives of a special interest group. Make no doubt about it, what LGBT and its cohorts are offering Manhattan will be painful and potentially longstanding. The consistently anti-Christian American Civil Liberties Union hosts a page for LGBT and they describe the organization as follows: “The LGBT Project fights discrimination and moves public opinion through the courts, legislatures and public education across five issue areas: Relationships, Youth & Schools, Parenting, Gender Identity and Expression and Discrimination in Employment, Housing and other areas.”
So how will this discrimination ordinance alteration affect the city itself? In many ways the ordinance is still bizarrely ambiguous. It was passed before the wording was finalized. Yes, the city government went beyond the Nancy Pelosi-esque wording of “we need to pass Obamacare so you can see what’s in the bill,” to saying in effect, “We will pass the ordinance and tell you what the fine print reads later.” If you ever wanted to see an example of an out-of-control government, there it is. What we do know is that homosexuals, amongst others, will be able to forward allegations of discrimination against business owners and landlords that may force private Kansas citizens to be brought before a non-elected human rights panel that the city mayor will appoint. The panel, which by its rules will always have an activist member appointed, will have the authority to call witnesses, collect evidence and levy heavy fines. This is a Pandora’s Box and I believe its creators have no true idea of how much it will be used and misused if it is not repealed.
The ordinance allows gays to bring preemptive violation charges against citizens they believe may discriminate against them in the future. Unless science can rapidly catch up with the modern liberal version of equality, Manhattan, Kansas has created a city ordinance reminiscent to Tom Cruise’s performance in the science fiction movie “Minority Report.” That should be a clincher to call this ordinance insane and unenforceable, but there is more. The ordinance has a sloppy and completely incomprehensible definition of gender identity of which one of the byproducts is the need for employers to create gender-identity-acceptable bathrooms and other facilities. What will be the identifiers to designate these facilities? When a town gets to this level of absurdity, who knows, maybe a “?” placard will suffice.
I have never been more ashamed to be a Kansan or a citizen of Manhattan than I was when I saw the Christian value of morality and American citizens’ freedom being trampled upon by this radical ordinance alteration. However, the anger I and others feel toward this legislation should be qualified to avoid misconception on such a sensitive subject. Most likely everyone knows a person described within the acronym LGBT. They are true members of our communities, known to us as acquaintances, friends and family. There is no doubt that Christians can, and should continue a respectful dialogue with those whose life choices violate God’s laws. What cannot happen in showing respect to those we disagree with is selling out our biblical values.
It is also important to understand where this ordinance alteration stands within our community, state and nation. The LGBT-driven ordinance in Manhattan supersedes individual conversations and exchanges of ideas of morality. The legislation takes the issue of morality into the public square and the heart of our society. In this arena, the nation will be pulled toward the values we accept collectively. Here there is no room for tolerance when it comes to our core Judeo-Christian values and the tone the community sets for the future. If we are honest with ourselves, the dilemma of the ordinance alteration in Manhattan, Kansas, is not a product of a sweeping tide of homosexual support, it is an inevitable outcome when the majority of citizens become lukewarm to the necessity of placing moral conservatives into public office. While we care for those with the deviant lifestyle of homosexuality, they do not share our value system, nor can we acquiesce to their societal demands without facing the ultimate damnation of such a decision. In the end, the repeal of such an affront to Christian values as seen in this recent ordinance alteration by the City of Manhattan is not just something we should consider, it is our responsibility.
Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of the several books including the 2010 release, “Oliver’s Tale: A Squirrel’s Story of Love, Courage, and Revolution.” Paul is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Entertainment Program of the Year, Conscience of Kansas airing on KSDB Manhattan 91.9 FM, www.ibbetsonusa.com. For interviews or questions, please contact him at [email protected]