The right to practice your religion freely and to live your life according to your religion’s teaching, well that’s pretty foundational stuff. And that right should not be infringed upon. You should not be made to feel guilty, coerced, or forced into doing something that violates your conscience
or the tenets of your faith. On that much we can agree.
But I’m sorry. Your so-called “right” to shun me, to disgrace me, to make me feel less-than, to ensure I get the message that “my lifestyle is an abomination” — that is NOT your religious liberty! Here's why.
You have a right to practice your religion, yes. But last time I checked, your savior explained that the greatest commandments began with the word, “love.” As in “Love God and Love your neighbor.”
So, do you really think telling me, “I can’t make a cake for your gay wedding” is somehow spreading good news about God’s love? Do you actually believe that turning away a gay couple at your B&B is in some twisted way showing me “tough love”? That your refusal to do business with me will help me see the “error of my wicked ways?” I can assure you, it will NOT.
And while we’re at it, could you explain exactly which commandment found in the Bible would be violated by your accommodating me and my loved one? Exactly what passage of scripture supports the idea that “if you don’t snub those gay people, you’re not a good follower of Jesus?”
According to the Christian scriptures, when the spirit of Jesus shows up, people are supposed to observe things like joy, peace, patience, gentleness and kindness. I ask you: does spitefully turning away my business in the public market line up with any one of those descriptive words? Is shunning me a joyful thing? Do you believe it’s an act of kindness? Are you showing gentleness or patience when you do that?
Just to be sure we’re clear: love means “a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.” How does saying, “Go take your gay business somewhere else” communicate a feeling of deep affection to me? How does “I won’t serve you people” make you an example of Jesus’ love? Didn’t Jesus become a servant of all?
Stop telling me your “religious freedom” is under attack. Stop complaining that “political correctness is winning the day.” And start demonstrating what it looks like to actually love people. Especially the people who have different moral standards than you do. And who knows, maybe I’ll want to know more about your religion when I sense that you actually care about me. But right now, it seems like all you care about is your right to sneer.
I’m not going to say, “You’re just a bigot.” I mean, there may be some people who are simply that. But many more people have been misguided and duped into thinking that religious freedom is at stake when they are obligated to treat the GLBT community with dignity and respect. Maybe there is a religion out there that says, “You shall spurn your neighbor with all your heart, soul and strength.” But that religion sure isn’t Christianity.
Your gay neighbor