Dear American Christians, You need to get a grip, and I am tired of speaking to you politely. You are not being persecuted by being required to serve all customers in your store. If you serve all people in your store, you are simply being American. As a fellow Christian, I can assure you, your faith will not be compromised, and God will not be displeased with you, if you make a cake or a pizza for gay people. What many of you do not seem to realize is that this move for the “religious freedom” laws is designed to appeal to your basest fears. These bills are designed to do one thing, and one thing only: to make you feel offended and afraid that your faith is at stake. But your faith is not at stake. And if you think it is, then your faith is far, far too weak. I’m all worked up about this, because of analogies made by State Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth. Rep. Krause is a sponsor of one of these so-called “religious freedom” bills in Texas. Among other things, Rep Krause said the following:
“Should a Jewish bakery have to bake a cake for the neo-Nazi convention coming into town? Nobody would say that. Nor would anybody say a gay florist couple has to give flowers to a Westboro Baptist protest at funerals..”
At a time when everyone understands these bills as a reaction to increasing LGBT rights, Krause’s hypotheticals are ludicrous and offensive. It’s ludicrous and offensive to analogize situations where LGBT persons are cast in the place of neo-Nazis or Westboro Baptist. In fact, this last comparison is head-exploding, given the fact that Westboro is most known for vile protests against LGBT people.
To offer hypothetical analogies that casts LGBT citizens in the role of the actual people who actually engage in vile protests against them is ludicrous and offensive, even in the abstract. Krause, then, attempts hypothetical examples that are completely implausible in the real world to defend a bill that would then become real-world law.
And if you’re reading Krause’s comments and thinking, “Well, that COULD happen…” Then you are a part of the problem. No. It couldn’t. And the fact that you think it can points to the fact that you have fallen victim to the lie that American Christians are victims of widespread and systematic persecution.
A Christian Business owner today, serving the LGBT community, is not being persecuted for their faith, anymore than Southern Christian business owners were being persecuted when society called them to open their lunch counter. Oh yeah. And there’s no “War on Christmas” either. (Or Easter).
We Christians are absolutely as free to exercise our faith as we ever have been. We can go to church without fear of being hunted down for doing that. We can pray with our families. Our churches can create clinics, and schools, and non-profits that serve God and the world. And nobody is going to impinge that right in any real way.
So, stop with the being offended. You have no right to be offended if an LGBT person walks into your place of business. Even if you haven’t come to terms with the fact that people can be gay and also be Christian(1), you’ve at least got to remember that Jesus said that little thing about the “wheat” and the “tares.” I can’t speak for Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, or any other kind of shop-keeper. But I do know, as Christians it’s not our job to separate out from society. Jesus said that.
You want to know what persecution really is? It’s 147 Christians being shot in Kenya. That’s persecution. Your so-called “offense” at being required to serve LGBT people is an insult to their sacrifice.
And on Good Friday, I will say as a minister of the Gospel that it’s an insult to Jesus’ sacrifice too.
Grow up. Get a life. Be a real Christian. And a real American.
UPDATE: I highly recommend this blog which covers many of these same issues remarkable well: “Bake for Them Two”
UPDATE TWO: Also, read my own follow-up to these same issues here.