By Zach Terry, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach, 4-10-23
Recently, Mr. Jack Knocke raised a concern (via email) to city leaders over the scheduling of a “Pride” event in the public parks of Fernandina Beach, FL. Mr. Knocke noted that he found the event “hugely inappropriate to expose our children in public places to”. The Fernandina Beach News Leader reported on the dialogue between Mr. Knocke and city leaders, and I have been asked for comment on the interchange.
Mr. Knocke’s question concerning the propriety of such events was very appropriate. No
freedom granted by human government is absolute. Inevitably, scenarios will arise when
freedoms granted by one law will collide with the prohibitions of another.
Federal, State, and local laws have been established to protect citizens from the public
promotion of that which is deemed obscene and indecent. Section 58-7 of the Code of
Ordinances of Fernandina Beach, FL prohibits swimming nude or with insufficient clothing in
the Atlantic Ocean or in any river, bay, lake, pond, or pool within the corporate limits of the city.
Why would such an ordinance be codified? Because we live in Florida, a state where highly
regulated nude beaches exist. At some point, a citizen voiced a concern about such practices locally and a local law was established to forbid such practices.
In cities across our nation, trans-activists have held “drag queen story hour” events at local
libraries, placed books of a pornographic nature into school libraries, provided hormone
blockers and stimulants to young children, and promoted the surgical mutilation of the
reproductive organs of minors- all to further their agenda of sexual revolution. Such practices are deemed by Holy Scripture as “dishonorable, unnatural, shameless, and contrary to nature” (see Romans 1:26-27). Is that what we desire for the future of Fernandina Beach? If not, where is the moral and ethical line? Perhaps, now is the time for our leaders to officially answer such questions.
Granted, that which is deemed obscene and perverse is not universally agreed upon. Culture tends to cool in its adherence to the mandates and values found at the core of religious doctrine. Communities perpetually redefine that which is considered obscene with ever increasing frequency as our consciences acclimate to the new moral temperature.
History has proven that unchecked moral drift weakens a nation and precedes its ultimate
downfall. All that stands between our community and the perpetual slouching toward Sodom is the voice of citizens like Mr. Knocke. His objection serves to preserve our community’s conscience, as a salt preserves meat. Thank you, Jack Knocke, for raising the questions we should all be asking.
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.