Can Christian businesses claim persecution when told they can’t discriminate?

Thursday, October 31. 2013

Perhaps love bakes a cake
Micah J. Murray calls his blog “Redemption Pictures” because, he says, “We’re all in the middle of a big, beautiful movie.  It’s being directed by God, and it’s ultimately about redemption.”  He says he catches “glimpses of what’s unfolding around us” and shares his thoughts with us.  Recently he wrote about the many cries we hear from conservative Christians who are claiming they are being persecuted or are  losing their liberty because laws protecting the rights of all of us include the rights of those whom these Christians believe are living sinful lives.  Usually such Christians, who believe they have the right to discriminate and impose their own religious views on others who don’t share them, believe they are doing God’s will.  Examples are employers who don’t believe in contraception so claim their personal beliefs mean they can exclude coverage of contraceptives in health insurance for employees, or photographers who won’t take wedding pictures of gay couples, or bakers who refuse to bake wedding cakes for same-sex marriages (the example Murray uses).  He says “There’s simply no biblical command for Christians to deny services to those whose actions you believe to be sinful.” He speaks of the hypocrisy in all this and suggests that the application of such reasoning mainly to same-sex marriage seems to be nothing more than bigotry. Where would such  denial of services stop?  “If you believe premarital sex is sinful, do you decline a wedding cake to any couple who had premarital sex? What about couples that are divorced and remarried?” He wonders if all couples would have to be vetted and sign sworn statements that they were entering a marriage free from sin. Murray goes on, “How else could the bakers be sure that they’re ‘fleeing from sin’ rather than ‘helping somebody celebrate it’ [as one baker said in trying to justify the refusal to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple]”? Take some time to read Murray’s whole post and his thoughts about what Jesus requires of us—what love requires of us.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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