Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Indiana Bullying Homosexuals?

Over the past several days, the state of Indiana has been relentlessly accused of bullying (or hating) homosexuals.  Before we describe why they are so accused, let’s examine the definition of bullying and what Indiana did to earn the label. A bully is defined as “a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.” Now, let’s examine what all parties are doing in this recent case to see who is and who is not being a bully. Last week, the legislature of Indiana passed and its Governor signed into law the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (this is already Federal Law in all 50 states, and further codified into state law in 30 states). What the law does is precisely what the name of the law implies. Simply, the law (like the Constitution) prohibits state or local governments from unreasonably burdening a person's ability to exercise their religion freely. That’s it! By the way, in case you didn’t know, the Constitution of the United States also provides the identical protection as this law (it is explicit in the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights). And, it was just this year that the Supreme Court upheld this same law against Obamacare in favor of Hobby Lobby. In other words, this law is obviously meant to prevent the government from bullying people of all faiths with regards to their faith. But, the simplicity of this law and its consistency with our Constitution could not stop the dangerous engine of anti-religion in America to divide the masses into an irrational frenzy.

The undisciplined opposition to this law is entirely based upon a lie designed to inspire continued aggression against Christians in the name of preventing hypothetical aggression against homosexuals. Protesters would mislead us all to believe that this law has everything to do with Christians aggressively and rampantly discriminating against homosexuals. It does not. The law is strictly confined to preventing governments from discriminating against individuals due to their faiths. This law has very little, if anything, to do with individuals discriminating against individuals, much less Christians doing anything. The law never mentions homosexuals or Christians. And, the hypocrites jumping on the blinded bandwagon of opposing discrimination are not as innocent as they preach - since they are actively proposing discrimination against Christians and their defenders. This is precisely why we need this law.

Be this distortion as it may, what does such clear opposition imply? Even though the over-zealous opposition to this law is based entirely upon an intentional lie, their philosophical admission is breathtaking. The opposition repeatedly responds with a hypothetical Christian baker refusing to bake a homosexual wedding cake over conscience. They thereby admit that serving homosexual weddings is clearly a violation of many (not all) Christians’ convictions. And, therefore, their sole desire is to force Christians to violate their religious convictions under threat of severe punishment. So, they concocted a foolish construct that makes refusal to bake a cake the civil rights equivalent of being denied the right to vote. Keep in mind that most Christians have no problem serving homosexuals, and with utmost respect and dignity. The only rub is when some rare Christian owns a business that serves weddings who has a rare conviction and is asked to serve an equally rare homosexual wedding ceremony against that rare conviction and rarely decides to refuse the business over conviction. While homosexuals have the right to not be discriminated against in an unlawful manner, that does not mean that homosexuals can force Christians to participate in their ceremonies against their own will and convictions. Does anyone truly believe that they should be able to do that? But, again, Indiana’s law has nothing to do with such civil issues. However, it provides an opportunity to pounce for those who salivate over the chance to discriminate against Christians. And pounce they have, in rapid and dramatic fashion.

In fact, let’s summarize the higher profile parties who are ruthlessly discriminating against the state of Indiana in the name of anti-discrimination. The CEO of Angie’s List announced that they will cancel plans for a $40 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters. announced it will no longer send employees or customers to Indiana. Charles Barkley has joined the NCAA in expressing concerns about having future events hosted in Indiana like this weekend’s “Final Four.” Wilco, a rock band, has cancelled its Indiana tour dates. Many others have called for boycotts of the state including actors George Takei, Nick Offerman, and Ashton Kutcher. And on Twitter, “#boycottindiana” is gaining viral steam. Lastly, the Mayors of San Francisco and Seattle have banned official travel to Indiana (along with the Governor of the state of Washington). Ironically they won’t ban travel to Muslim countries where homosexuals are publicly executed. In fact, almost everyone calling for a boycott of Indiana refuses to boycott countries wherein homosexuality is a crime punishable by expedient death. Apparently it is more important that homosexuals get wedding cakes on demand from Christians than keep their lives.

Even though this discrimination against Indiana is based upon a distorted lie, let’s address the hypothetical that critics are using. America has had a long-standing Constitutional protection for the free exercise of religious conviction dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War. America has always afforded reasonable civil exemption for religious conviction, especially in the area of free enterprise (business). That is precisely why the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby. To further illustrate, here are some more modern hypothetical examples to consider:

  • Should a Muslim-owned bakery be forced to bake a cake using Zionist symbols requested by a Jew?
  • Should a black-owned bakery be forced to bake a cake requested for a KKK-themed event?
  • Should a Christian-owned printing company be forced to print pornography upon request?
  • Should a liberal-owned printing company be forced to print anti-liberal materials upon request?
  • Should a homosexual-owned bakery be forced to bake a cake for a celebration of an anti-gay marriage initiative?

The answer to all of these questions is obviously "NO!" Each one of the hypothetical businesses above have the right to deny service on the basis of conviction. So, why should a Christian-owned bakery be denied the freedom to pass on extremely rare instances of business that violate their religious convictions? When everyone else is allowed to “discriminate” in such manner but not Christians, it is the Christian that suffers discrimination, not homosexuals. It is the Christian business who is being bullied.

Now, let’s examine the protestors’ motives of tolerance and anti-hate. Does a discriminatory boycott against Indiana sound like an act of tolerance in any way? Does it sound non-hateful or loving to boycott an entire state over a lie? If everyone is forced to agree to the same position, does that sound like diversity? Why is a boycott not okay for a Christian but okay for those who want to punish Christians and their defenders? Why is a boycott of cake-baking hateful but not a boycott of an entire state? Why are Christians targeted for discriminatory acts, while Muslims and liberals are given a pass? Does a boycott remedy discrimination? Isn't boycotting an act of discrimination? Can discrimination truly be successful as a means to eliminate discrimination? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Why is it not okay to refuse to bake a cake over religious conviction, but okay by all means to punish a Christian for not agreeing with you? In fact, what the homosexual activists are saying here is that it is okay to discriminate against Christians in the broadest sense as long as we don’t discriminate against homosexuals in the narrowest and rarest sense. But, isn’t discrimination … discrimination? And, which type of discrimination is more important to protect against, discrimination against someone’s religious convictions or against someone’s sexual activities? Well, seeing as religious discrimination is explicitly forbidden in the Constitution, and discrimination regarding sexual activities is not, I think the answer should be obvious to everyone. Everyone has a right to their conscience, and to not be forced to violate their conscience. When reasonable exercise of religion becomes criminal, the end is very near in every sense.

So, who is the bully and who is being bullied? There is no alleged aggression being carried out by Christians in Indiana. There is no alleged victim in actuality. There isn’t even alleged aggression by the passage of this law. But there is a whole lot of aggression from homosexual rights activists and their defenders. Further, there is no alleged harm being done to homosexuals in Indiana. But, there is a ton of proposed harm being done to Christians and their defenders. Christians are being boycotted, cyber-bullied, sued, expelled and bankrupted across this nation over these issues. Let’s compare that to the harm that is only hypothetically alleged in this case albeit based on a lie. The hypothetical harm done to homosexuals is that the rare couple who can get “married” might ask the rare Christian baker to bake them a cake only to be rarely refused, and resort to calling one of the numerous non-Christian bakers who would gladly take the business. This is the harm that will be done that needs to be avoided at all cost? This is the harm that rises to the level requiring us to punish Christians in wholesale fashion? So it is more important to avoid the inconvenient phone call than it is to drive religious freedom underground? It is more important to avoid having to go to a non-Christian baker than it is to avoid being bankrupted over your faith? Wake up, America!

Has anyone paused to ask, who is actually picking this fight? If homosexuals judge devout Christians as hateful, why would they call a Christian bakery? Why wouldn't they just simply avoid such Christians altogether? Don't people normally avoid those that they believe to hate them? Where is the foul and who is guilty of it? Or is the foul fabricated for a much more sinister agenda? Is this revenge in disguise? In the end, the answers to these questions don't matter anymore. The damage is done and there is no turning back. And, Christians will pay a steep price for devotion to conviction. We knew this was coming.

Christian, before you rise up in a retaliatory frenzy, might I remind you of the words of Jesus. In Matthew 5:39 Jesus said, “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” We are called to turn the other cheek to our bullies rather than fight. And 1 Peter 3:8-17 says, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing…who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.”

Therefore, in response to our bullies, turn the other cheek and bless them. This is the Christian response.

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