With the Washington State Supreme Court hearing oral Arguments in the Barronelle Stutzman (Arlene’s Flowers) case, today seems like a good time to try and help people understand why Bible Believing Christians can’t in good conscience participate in Same-Sex wedding ceremonies. I don’t presume to bring complete argument that is one size fits all, but what I do hope to present is an emotional argument akin to the kinds of arguments that the LGBTQ Lobby has used so many times before.
A Thought Experiment
Consider a situation with me for a moment. There is a friend or family member who wants you to come to their initiation into the Taliban or ISIS movements. They invite you to participate and tell you that it will mean so much to them if you could come and encourage them in this once in a lifetime act. They know you disagree with the movement’s agenda and actions, but they also know that as friends or family members, your presence is important to them as they walk forward in their new commitment to truth and justice and equality (as they see it, according to their understanding of the Qur’an.) What would you do? Would you go and encourage them? Would you send them a card? Would you congratulate them on the choice they are making? I hope that most of us would answer, NO, to each one of these questions.
Now, imagine you are a business owner, and the Taliban or ISIS or your friend wants you as a business to make them a cake, to provide flowers, to take pictures or provide any other items or services for their inauguration ceremony. As an individual your conscience tells you that such activities and celebrations are not only personally reprehensible but also morally wrong and that by providing these services you are actually participating in the activities of the group that you find so offensive. You know that the inauguration is the first step into a life that will end in death for many involved. And so you politely decline to provide services, to attend or to participate in any way.
The Parallel to Same-sex weddings
Unfortunately, the government determines that you do not have the right to make such a decision and they take you to court for your actions. Such is the situation facing Arlene’s Flowers and countless other businesses who refuse to participate in solemnizing or providing for LGBTQ wedding ceremonies. The corollary is simple, take any reference to the Taliban, ISIS or the Qur’an and substitute in Same-sex wedding and Secular humanism and you can see the stark parallel. If the argument works for the one, it must work for the other. In fact, if it works for these cases then, religious liberty is truly protected, and if it doesn’t then, no one is protected and the Muslim must butcher pork and sell it, the Jew must provide meat and milk on the same plate in the same restaurant that the southern comes to eat in and the like.
To evangelical, Bible-Believing Christians the idea of same-sex weddings is a morally reprehensible activity that leads to death. Now, you may not believe that, and you are entitled to your opinion, but just as most Americans would view the participation in a Taliban initiation ceremony as a morally reprehensible event to participate in, so also Christians who follow the teaching of the Bible carry these same feelings. And when the government sues us and expects us to participate, they are asking us to ignore the practice of our faith, something that can’t be done and something that the government has no right to require of us since the government is to make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor the free exercise thereof.
My hope is that our nation can come to understand, once again, that faith affects every aspect of a person’s life. In a truly tolerant and free country, citizens should have the right to live, work, play and worship according to the dictates of their own conscience and their own religious convictions. And if they choose to decline participating in an action they feel is morally repugnant, then they should have every right to such a choice without governmental repurcussions. This doesn’t mean society wont punish them through boycott and other economic means that are not governmentally coercive, but it does mean that the government should never find itself forcing one to violate their conscience. Such an action is more akin to the regimes of N. Korea, Saudi Arabia and other totalitarian states than it is to the government of a free people.
I hope that i have helped you to see the emotional connection and violation that a few within our country are trying to foist upon the majority. Let’s return to true freedom and the real plurality of thoughts and ideas.