I've been having something brewing inside of me to share here since yesterday when I saw a graphic tweeted which was supposedly a quote from the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence:
'We in Indiana are following the message of scripture. Jesus would never have welcomed a sinner into His workplace.'
To be honest, I cannot confirm if this was an actual quote, or if it's slightly paraphrased, or if it's totally contrived like so many banners which can be found on Twitter which are made by people, both scrupulously and unscrupulously day in and day out, that if we're not careful, become wrongfully attributed to the individual, and needlessly inflame an already worrisome situation. The quote is often later debunked, which has the unfortunate side-effect of discrediting any and all protest to what can only be described as an odious law, of incalculable proportions.
But assuming for a second that it might be an actual quote, how many different ways of wrong are present here?
First of all, being gay does not presuppose immorality or being a sinner. There are both moral and immoral people who are either gay or straight. How couples express their love to one another does not speak of their morality.
Secondly, if one is to follow scripture as this quote suggests we should, it teaches that we are all basically sinners saved by grace. To say that Jesus never welcomed sinners is to ignore His entire ministry when it's well-documented He spent copious amounts of time eating with and associating with prostitutes, publicans, tax-collectors, and all the rest of the variety of citizens widely referred to as sinners.
Thirdly, the quote, and even the very name of the bill which was signed into law seems to suggest a divide between gay people and Christians, or using the more universal term, religious people, as if the two are mutually exclusive, as if the two cannot exist at the same time. But many people are both gay are Christian. Many of us right here are both gay and religious. How is religious freedom restored to the gay religious person when they can now be lawfully turned away from any business in the state of Indiana? How is this not an infringement on the rights of a would-be customer?
Fourth, who decides who the gay people are who come through the front door? Are there going to be state-funded gay detectors installed? Do the gay people all wear pink triangles? Two women walk into a restaurant together. They might be sisters or next door neighbors or life-long friends who haven't seen each other for awhile, but you the restaurant owner decide they must be lesbians, and so you tell them to leave your establishment. What kind of act of religious freedom is being fulfilled in this instance?
There was a call-in "Christian" to a talk radio show who is a restaurant owner and he expressed how excited he was that he finally had the law on his side to be able to refuse service to gays and lesbians. How sick is that?
The KKK claim Christianity too, and so what if it's an affront to their religious freedom to cater to blacks or Jews?
Governor Pence--and I speak now for what is documented you have said--how can your faith be so fragile, your god so easily offended that you will turn away your kindness from those who aren't precisely like your sexual orientation? Governor, how can your love for your fellow man be so conditional? Did the Jesus you talk about only die for some of your sins, or did He give His all? Are you living under grace or are you going to make it to heaven based on your own deeds? Are you sinless? If you believe in some form of 'great commission' how does your actions help to show God's love to others? How can continually creating divisions in classes of people result in anything other than to force your version of Christianity upon everyone else, and how is this in any way, religious freedom?
I was pleased this morning to find that Xedrik, the other maintainer coonie on the opposite coast also had these issues weighing on his heart that he needed to share, by his RA Facebook entry this morning--an open letter, as if from Jesus to the State of Indiana--let it be read far and wide:The Letter
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