Religious Freedom … Laws?

The recent attempts by Kansas and Arizona to enact religious “freedom of religion” laws raise an interesting discussion.  Why should we have to enact laws in order to conduct ourselves according to our religious convictions?  Wasn’t that the whole point of the founding of this country in the first place?  The problem is that certain groups with agendas against conservative Christians have tried to make this about Christians vs. Gays.  That is not at all what these laws were attempting to re-introduce or re-enforce in our society.  These laws were not singularly focused on, for example, a Christian bakery refusing to bake a cake, knowingly, for a gay couples’ … union.  This would also protect the Jewish butcher from being forced to process some Christians’ wild boar kill into sausage, or forcing a Muslim who works for a company from being forced, against threat of firing, to attend a luncheon during Ramadan.  Nothing in these proposed laws would have protected discrimination in the everyday conducting of commerce and if they did I would oppose them.  In other words, if a Muslim comes to buy meat at a kosher meat market he should be able to.  If a gay person wants to patronize a bakery owned by Christian he should have that right.  Although not a direct application, I have a short story that might apply in a practical manner.  Probably 20 years ago I was trying to secure lodging for some construction workers in Oklahoma City and had called a particular hotel.  In the course of describing our need, the person on the phone said “I don’t think you want to stay here”.  I asked as to why and he informed me that the hotel caters exclusively to gays.  I thanked him for informing me and I secured lodging for our people elsewhere.  I was not offended, didn’t consider a lawsuit or yell and scream.  I was appreciative of his informing me of his objections to my staying there and I simply went elsewhere.

I do not believe I should refuse to sell a Down Under Shelter to a gay person nor do I think a bakery should be allowed to refuse the same general service to a gay person.  I’m not sure what I think about a Muslim restaurant refusing service to an Infidel (Jew or Christian) based solely on the fact they are a Jew or Christian, but I suppose if it is a strongly held religious belief of theirs they should have that right.  This should be about strongly held religious beliefs, regardless of the religion, to not have to violate their conscience in very specific areas of service.  In fact (refer to Does Scripture support don’t ask don’t tell) if a gay person comes to buy that wedding cake and keeps its designed purpose to himself I see no grounds for the Christian store owner to intentionally inquire – bake him the cake already.

I support religious freedom.  But we should not have to enact laws to that effect; our Constitution supposedly already guarantees that.  The problem is there are new laws being proposed and enacted which are chipping away at those freedoms.

And if a church refuses to rent its facilities for a gay wedding they will lose that business and the couple will patronize somewhere else and I believe the church should have that right based on our constitution and not some new redundant law guaranteeing that right.


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