Last week, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (N.C.) bragged to The Washington Post that he doesn’t “vote for anything” that he thinks “will have a serious political consequence.” They were glib words for a man who’d just put his name behind a bill rewriting marriage for every American. Like the 11 other Republican senators whose moral courage collapsed before the nation’s eyes, Senator Tillis would have you believe there’s no fallout from his vote for same-sex marriage. But a young Georgia policeman who’s out of a job over his beliefs would beg to disagree.
“Christians should not be fearful of this legislation,” Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) wrote in an op-ed for the Indy Star. The so-called Respect for Marriage Act, he insisted, offers “far more in the way of religious liberty protections than [we have now].” Tell that to Jacob Kersey, who was a 19-year-old rookie of the Port Wentworth Police Department, until his supervisors decided his views on marriage were too “offensive.” Try telling Jacob that Christians don’t need to worry that these laws “will be used as a weapon to bludgeon them for their beliefs,” as Senator Young claimed, because this young man — like every American with a bullseye on their backs — won’t believe it.
Barely a month after Joe Biden signed his name to the law upending marriage in all 50 states, every excuse these 12 Republicans made is turning out to be exactly what conservatives warned they were — lies. “… [W]e have just improved on religious liberty protections … across the United States,” Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said, despite every legal argument to the contrary. Now, these dozen senators are making prophets out of conservatives, who warned that abandoning marriage would only usher in a new wave of oppression.
For Kersey, that oppression was swift, coming less than 24 hours after a Facebook post he made on his personal account. “God designed marriage,” he wrote January 2. “Marriage refers to Christ and the church,” he explained in reference to in Ephesians 5. “That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.”
The next day, the Daily Signal reported, Kersey’s supervisor called to tell him that someone had complained about the message. Take it down, he was told. Jacob refused. For that, he was hauled into a meeting with three superiors, Major Lee Sherrod, Captain Nathan Jentzen, and Police Chief Matt Libby, and ordered to “turn in everything he had that belonged to the city.” While people are entitled to their own views, Libby said, talking about natural marriage is the same as using a racial slur. It’s like “saying the N-word or ‘F--- all those homosexuals,’” the chief insisted.
Despite the promise they saw in him as a police officer, the three men agreed Kersey would have to be placed on administrative leave while the city considered whether his job could be salvaged.
A week later, Kersey was given a choice: keep your opinions off social media or turn in your badge. If he wanted to post Scripture, fine. But if he shared anything else that offended someone, he could be fired. Does that sound like “a good step forward for religious freedom” to you? Is that what Todd Young meant when he talked about showing “diverse beliefs proper respect?” Or how Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) defines “tolerance?”
A few sleepless nights later, Jacob resigned. “I didn’t believe that my department had my back, and I didn’t really want to go back and play that game and just wait to be fired, because I know it would happen at some point,” he told “Washington Watch” Thursday. “The leadership at that police department claims to be Christian. But I just don’t understand why they would say that an outspoken Christian is the same thing as a racist. It’s just absolutely ludicrous to try to equate me to [someone] who hates people based off the color of their skin, because I believe in God’s design for marriage.”
“I really enjoyed being a police officer,” Kersey admitted. “And that was a huge part of my identity at a young age. And I look forward to doing that for a long time. But, you know, you have to follow when Jesus calls.” As Jacob said, "We really, really have to understand that this isn’t all just a big political game. This is a spiritual battle that’s going on right now. … And Christ is King — and if we’re believers and we really believe that, then we should be fighting for His comprehensive rule overall, especially in our hearts, and we should stand for Him and His word.”
In the meantime, Jacob could lose his whole career because 12 grown senators couldn’t muster the courage he’s shown at 19. He is the fallout they denied, the collateral damage of a decision that will haunt our country for generations. While these men and women hold up their law’s non-existent protections as a shield from criticism, know that very real Americans have no defense. No shelter for the attacks that will come.
When we asked Jacob what he would say to the 51 Republicans who turned their backs on him and millions of other Americans, he grew serious. “My decision to stand up for biblical truth goes back to the Bible in Genesis 3. I see the serpent whispering in the ear of Eve. And Adam, who knows very well what God has said, stood passively by and let sin happen. And I think there are going to be consequences for those who stand idly by and watch the serpent slither around and ignore God. If you’re going to be a Christian, you’re going to have to decide — are you going to be like Adam? And what are the consequences for your action?”
Today, the consequences are exactly what we warned: the Left and those trying to curry favor with the intolerant mob are now empowered with the force of government to crush anyone who lives out their biblical faith. The retort of the 12 Republicans will likely be that the action against Jacob was unlawful, and he would have a good chance of prevailing in court. But why should a 19-year-old have to go to court to defend the teaching of the Bible in order to be a police officer? While it’s true he could win that challenge, the real effect is upon those watching.
“You can see exactly what they’re doing,” Dr. Albert Mohler warned when the votes were imminent. “They’re coming for us.”
And Jacob Kersey is just the beginning.