Some things about myself no one knows about, and that’s a good thing. Do I wear a sign on my forehead that says how many sexual encounters I’ve had? Does my sign say I like girls, guys, or goats? Does my sign say I like short skirts, tight jeans, high heels, red lipstick, long hair, etc.? Does my sign say what turned me on last week, yesterday, this morning, or August 10, 2006?
Suppose I did wear such a sign. Suppose I wore every embarrassing detail of my sexuality on my sleeve. How quickly I would be thrown out of every building I walked into, and how I would deserve it!
What was the lesson of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ministry? That superficial traits have nothing to do with the content of your character.
As for the dark urges that suggest themselves to us in moments of desire and weakness, that threaten to separate us from God and our loved ones—our willingness to act on them defines our character. We are born sinners, and we recognize the destructiveness of sin on ourselves and on society. So we spend most of our lives avoiding temptations to sin.
At least, that is the attitude a healthy culture breeds into its citizens.
The photographer in New Mexico, the florist in Washington state, the baker in Colorado, all were punished for refusing to serve homosexual couples. The justification for their punishment rests on a premise, that homosexual couples are intrinsically homosexual, just like blacks are intrinsically black. It is false. Sexuality, unlike skin pigment, is amorphous.
Arizona’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act is a deeply flawed reaction to the gay mafia’s aggression in litigating business owners’ right to discern whom they associate with. It promises to protect “sincere religious beliefs,” a legalism as ambiguous as sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Who is to decide what is sincere?” Paul Brandeis Raushenbush objects. Who indeed? I shudder at the thought of opening up my newfound salvation in Jesus for the courts to pore over to render a judgment on my sincerity.
This is not about religious liberty. It’s about property rights, specifically the right of businesses to demand civil behavior from their customers. Must I be baptized in Christ’s blood to be able to tell a lewd couple in my store to knock it off, to recuse myself from proceedings I don’t want to be part of? To claim yes is to unfairly privilege Christians, while at the same time focusing our sick culture’s charges of bigotry against them.
Furthermore, “religious exemptions” in recognizing same-sex marriage and Obamacare’s contraception mandate, for example, are a big fat loser. Liberals portray them as an attack, but they are a retreat, a fig leaf to disguise capitulation to the PC police state. Religious exemptions are a prelude to no exemptions, as evidenced by Catholic Charities fleeing Massachusetts, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. Bigotry is bigotry regardless of motivation, no?
The ground we are fighting on is shrinking beneath our feet.