Its not that unusual for me to have fellow worshipers come up to me after church, over coffee. Normally, however, we swap family stories, talk about children, grandchildren, hobbies, and common interests in our town. Yesterday, however, two friends sought me out with some urgency.

My first friend of the coffee hour was in anguish over his daughters decision to live the gay lifestyle. He and his wife had raised two daughters in their loving Christian home. Their younger daughter married and has blessed them with grandchildren. Their elder daughter pursued an academic career. He described this daughter as a brilliant scholar, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at a major university. But he and his wife are heartbroken over their daughters decision not only to live in a lesbian relationship with another woman, but also her plan to change her sex. Their daughter is beginning hormone treatments soon. Distraught over their daughters choices, he appealed to me for help.

I referred him to PFOXParents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. There, my sorrowful friend would learn that parents can give unconditional love to their childreneven as they hold out hope they will exit the gay lifestyle.

My friend was especially concerned that his lesbian daughter would take the extra stepsex change surgeryseeking to alter forever her sexual identity. Will gender reassignment surgery be covered under President Obamas health care takeover, he asked, explaining that his daughter does not currently have the money to cover such expenses. I told him I cannot see how such surgery would not be included in the Obama plan. And if the President or Congress does not include it, activist judges surely will. He pleaded for consideration of parents. Our wills give our entire estate to the two daughters we gave birth to he said poignantly. Now, we will have only one daughter. Where are our rights?

A second friend teaches ethics at a local university. He was especially concerned about end-of-life decisions. He understands that President Obamas takeover will require seniors to meet with doctors to discuss their end-of-life plans. That troubles him.

It will be too easy, he says, for these conferences to translate as government pressure for euthanasia. If the government cash-for-clunkers program runs out of money in just one week, what assurances can we have that government health care will not similarly be cash-strapped in short order? I told this friend that I did not believe that the bills currently being considered would require that this counseling be done by a physician. It is just as likely that the counselors will be government bureaucrats trained to this purpose.

These conversations on a humid Sunday morning are remarkable. Ive been attending the same worship services for thirteen years and never have these conversations over coffee attained such urgency, such intensity.

Americans should have such conversations nowbefore Congress returns. And they should share their deep misgivings with their elected representatives during the August recess. If our Members of Congress wont read the bills theyre voting on, its our duty to read them for themand to cry out loud and long about the troubling things we find in those measures. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, wrote Thomas Jefferson. That was never more true than now.