The whole country has been talking about Arizona SB 1062. For the most part, ridicule has been heaped on the lawmakers and on the conservative Christians the lawmakers were seeking to protect.
Sadly, much of that ridicule has come from professing Christians.
First off, let me say that I’m against discrimination in general. I’m against discrimination against homosexuals. Against atheists. Against muslims. Discrimination based on race.
And from what I can tell, the language of this law was much too broad.
That being said, most of the attacks on the law have shown extreme prejudice. Rather than deal with the actual issues at stake, they’ve opposed the law with hyperbolic arguments.
The intent is not to keep anyone from sitting at a lunch counter. You should be ashamed of yourself for even making the comparison. Saying such either shows ignorance of what is going on or a willful distortion of the facts. The intent of the law is not to keep anyone from exercising any rights they have. The intent of the law is to allow people the right to not participate in things that they find violate their ideals.
Does anyone argue that African Americans print shop owners should be forced to produce signs for a white supremacist group? Does anyone argue that a Jewish theater owner is obligated to rent his property to a neo-Nazi group?
The concept behind the law, hidden behind overly ambiguous language, was the idea that a Christian who feels that gay marriage is wrong should not be forced to perform services as part of a gay wedding. That’s the thought. The baker shouldn’t have to put a same sex couple on the cake he creates; the photographer shouldn’t be forced to shoot a wedding that violates his conscience; the minister shouldn’t feel obligated to perform a wedding for a couple when he doesn’t believe that wedding will result in an actual marriage.
Someone commented on Twitter that God sides with the marginalized. In this case, in 2014 U.S. culture, the marginalized is the conservative Christian who dares stand up for his beliefs. If you don’t believe me, look at whom everyone is ridiculing. There are rational voices out there, but they are few and far between.
Christian business owners should feel compelled to offer good, courteous service to everyone. But they should not be compelled to participate in a ceremony that violates their conscience.