Ensuring religious freedom is not persecuting those who don’t want others to have it. No one should be forced to do business in a free society against their moral conscience. We are not talking about discrimination of a people based on their God given attributes: race, sex, age etc. In each of these cases we are dealing with hatred of people but in the case of religious freedom we are taking about making decisions based on behavior and not just private behavior but open unrepentant immoral behavior. For Christians the bible is the moral authority and it is clear about what is sexually immoral: adultery, polygamy, premarital sex, rape, pedophilia, homosexuality, bestiality. We can disagree on what should be legal and illegal but the legal debate should not violate peoples freedoms.
Discrimination (defined by webster as: to distinguish; to observe the difference between) based on behavior is absolutely necessary. Hopefully no one would consider it wise to force children’s daycare facilities to hire pedophiles or churches to hire as pastors who are openly carrying on affairs, crisis centers to hire people who think rape is acceptable sometimes, a wedding planner to plan a wedding for a man who has multiple wives or a private christian school to hire a teacher who is homosexual. A business dedicated to the sanctity of marriage like a wedding cake bakery should not be forced to create a wedding cake for man and his dog. A kosher deli should not be forced to provide pork sandwiches.
Religious freedom acts that are currently being debated and proposed in many states across the country do not limit anyone. They do not tell any business owner that they cannot do business with whomever they please but they do ensure that business owners can continue to operate without being forced to violate their religious beliefs.
Lord, I am was born a ramblin man.
So one of the arguments that I have heard is that being homosexual is a God given attribute and therefore should be included in the race, age, sex list as “sexual orientation”. Indeed many companies choose to include that in their hiring policies. I am not going to debate this. There have been many other people with for better credentials than I who have addressed it and shown it to be false from a scientific standpoint but this is mainly an experience based argument and so I am not sure the scientific argument is actually all that relative. I can claim that I have always felt attracted to women but I am not sure explaining to me how that is scientifically impossible before the age of 12 would actually convince me of anything. However, my Christian belief in the bible does help me on this point. There I learned that we are all born into sin. We are all born fallen creatures. So this is really no excuse for our behavior. We can’t say that the devil made us do it and its blasphemy to claim that God made you commit homosexual acts. Greg Allman’s excellent appeal to being born a ‘Ramblin Man’ is a good example. It was not being born with the propensity to travel that hurt those he loved but the actions he took because of this inclination. (You are singing it in your head right now aren’t you? Go ahead, go look it up on spotify, I will wait.) I understand this, I know several men who would claim they were born with the desire to sleep with everyone woman they meet. But it is not being born that way that caused their failed marriages or hurt their children it was their behavior. It is not being born homosexual that is morally wrong it is the actions of practicing homosexuality that the bible says is sinful and that is to a Christian morally wrong. This is that that “christianese” phrase “hate the sin not the sinner” means. We all make mistakes and struggle with things but hating that fact that your friend lies is very different than actually hating your friend.