Why Baptist history is so vital for modern-day violations of freedom of conscience

One of our precious freedoms, won in part by Baptists, is freedom of conscience. Recently, the Hamilton Wentworth School Board here in southern Ontario has ruled that alternative lifestyles are to be taught in public schools and that parents will not be allowed to withdraw their children from classes when this issue is taught. The argument that I saw promoting this likened the issue to racism. Children are not exempt from classes dealing with the latter and therefore ipso facto should not be exempt from the former. This is all very interesting and confirms my own conviction formed over the past few years that one of the greatest challenges to the Church in the West is going to be obedience to state matters that violate our conscience as Christians. 

In brief: this is not like racism at all. That is like comparing apples and oranges. I have known racism firsthand becuase of my Kurdish background in the UK--was regularly called Arab in High School and even called by the N-word. I loathe racism. But I do not believe sexual preference is in the same category. Nor do I believe the state has the right to dictate ethical values to myself or my children. Everyone has an ethical position and the state is hardly neutral.

Being a Baptist and having a rich heritage to draw upon I now see as so vital for the modern-day. We need to revisit the lives and thinking of Baptists from the 17 and 18th centuries.