Christianity And Gay Marriage
One of the big cultural stories in America right now is trying to reconcile religious belief with non-discrimination laws in regards to homosexuality or other alternative sexual lifestyles. People are up-in-arms over legislation that would allow people with religious convictions to refuse to participate in celebration of gay marriages, etc. The argument is, no one should be discriminated against, based on their sexual orientation.
The prime example of this is a Christian wedding cake maker who holds the belief that the Bible teaches that homosexual relationships are sinful, and therefore refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Should this be allowed, or is this discrimination?
I do not believe this ought to be considered unlawful discrimination. Let me explain.
Imagine a Christian who owns a sign company. A customer comes in wanting them to make a billboard that says, “Gays are faggots.” He should be able to refuse to make the sign, due to his religious convictions which state that hate is a sin. He shouldn’t be forced to make the sign, even though such a sign is legally permitted. Or, if a customer wants a sign made that reads, “People who believe in Jesus are assholes. There is no God.” Or, “Obama is an idiot.” If a Christian lives by his/her morals, such signs go against their moral code, because it goes against the Bible’s teachings of respecting everyone, not taking God’s name in vain, showing respect for government authorities, and so on. However, if someone wants signs made containing such statements, America is a free country. Find someone who feels no moral culpability for creating them.
Imagine that same Christian sign maker has a gay customer who needs a sign made for their science project, “The Study of Green Plants In Urban Environments.” He ought not be allowed to turn away the customer, simply because he/she is gay. However, the situation is different if that same gay customer wants a sign made for their wedding which reads, “Uniting Fred and Ted In Holy Matrimony.”
Take another instance. A Muslim caterer believes that only Muslim weddings honor God, and that all other weddings are blasphemous to God. A Christian couple requests him to cater their wedding. He should be allowed to refuse to participate in their wedding. That is different from refusing catering service to people in general, just because they are Christians.
One last example. Imagine a certain baker is gay. And a Christian customer requests that he make a cake that reads “Setting Gay People Straight” for a Christian therapy clinic that specializes in trying to make gay people straight. The gay baker believes that not only does this practice not work, but it creates serious long-lasting and damaging mental health issues for gay people. How can he provide services for such a deplorable purpose? Should that gay baker be obligated to bake such a cake? I say, no. He should be free to decline baking services based on his moral convictions.
For a Christian, it ought to be an honor and a privilege to serve everyone and anyone. Even those who go against our religious moral code. In fact, especially those! But at the same time, a Christian ought not be forced to participate in an event that they believe is morally reprehensible in God’s eyes, even if society takes a different position.