Being a light
The local city of Flagstaff has been working with the LGBT community to work on anti-discrimination laws for them. This is a real mess for religion.
Once apon a time, as a shopkeeper, you could put up a sign in your shop saying, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone", and pretty much do as you please. But should you be allowed to refuse to serve people because of race, creed or gender? This country has a troubled history of doing that, and religion has shown up on the wrong side of this issue more than once.
And sad to say it, but Northern Arizona is one of the least integrated places I've ever lived. It is white white white. The waiters at the sushi restaurant are white, the cops are white. Even the homeless here are mostly white, with maybe a few Native Americans.
So can I believe that there's discrimination and harassment going on? Certainly. Do we need more laws? I don't know. Would those laws be an erosion of religion freedom in America? It could be, but maybe we could use a little more of that.
Huh?God is doing great in other countries where there is much less religious freedom. What if the top story on the daily news was a teacher being fired because they had a bible on their desk, or a manager being sued for sharing that he was a christian when asked.
God brings persecution apon us when we fall into the sin of apathy. All this focus on what the "religious right" calls "deviant behavior"? Its a smoke screen, so we can sit back and do nothing. Christians should be out there, protecting the persecuted and taking care of those in need; but we're not doing a very good job. Paul was pretty clear we weren't supposed to be judging what non-believers were doing:
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? (1Cor5:12 NIV)What we are supposed to do is love others. Even our enemies. Here's an example of opportunity lost:
A florist in Washington had a long time customer who came in to ask her to do the arrangements for his upcoming wedding to a same sex partner. She thought about it, and then asked him to use someone else, even giving him a referral to someone who ultimately did the wedding.
Unfortunately word spread of this, and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Florist based on the state's anti-discrimination laws which include discrimination based on sexual orientation. The quotes from the defendants just floor me:
The florist stated that she could not provide services in this case "because of (her) relationship with Jesus Christ."
The lawyer digs a hole even deeper: "She is one of the few people left today willing to stand by her convictions rather than compromise her beliefs," the lawyer said. "She's a very nice lady and doesn't have a discriminatory bone in her body, but she doesn't want to be forced to participate in an event that she doesn't believe in."I'm sorry, but no where in the Bible have I read that Jesus Christ said to avoid interacting with non believers, or to do anything other than show them God's love. And the lawyer claiming that she doesn't have a discriminatory bone in her body?
Actually she has something worse, cowardice. She had been selling flowers to the customer, and had an ongoing relationship with him. But selling flowers for the wedding was going to create a public association between her and his lifestyle. I'm willing to bet that she realized that she would have to defend her selling flowers for the same sex wedding to her "religious" customers, and that she could potentially lose business, maybe even a lot of business. So she declined, and now the LGBT community has associated name of Jesus Christ not with the son of God who wishes to help every person have a relationship with his father, but as a shield used by the enemy to continue its discrimination.