Smee: I’ve just had an apostrophe.
Hook: I think you mean an epiphany.
Smee: Lightning has just struck my brain.
Hook: Well that must hurt.
Like Smee, I just figured out the problem. If you’ve been paying attention at all for the past week in Indiana, you’ve been inundated with news of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I don’t mean to add to that, but I had an apostrophe tonight. I couldn’t figure out why people are so vehemently against this law, which basically just reaffirms the religious freedom provided in the first amendment to the United States Constitution. But I finally figured it out.
Black people, among, were oppressed and enslaved for a few hundred years. Then slavery was made illegal in America, but the oppression continued. The racism continued. I have seen and heard examples of racism just in the past few years. Racist jokes. Racist statements about how one group of people are better than another because of their skin color (sometimes against black people, sometimes against white people, sometimes others). Racism is WRONG. The Bible teaches that we are all descended from one man: Adam. We are all descended from one woman: Eve. We are all in the same family. So it’s wrong for any person to think that they are of more value than any other person.
Racism is wrong. The civil rights movement and their fight to achieve the same rights as white people for minorities was a good thing. But there is an innate difference between fighting for black people’s right to equal treatment, and fighting for gay people’s right to equal treatment.
Christians like me view gay people just like they do everybody else, but with one exception: they have chosen to define themselves based on their sexual choices. And Christians like me who believe in a dispensational literal interpretation of the Bible view homosexual behavior as a sin. So we see gay people as asking for something that is wrong. And that is why we want nothing to do with affirming their life choices, including “gay marriages.”
Then enters the problem: gay people are not satisfied with being left alone. They want every person in the country to affirm the rightness of their life choices. That is why, when they go into a bakery, they want to be treated just like everybody else. And when they encounter someone who doesn’t agree with their lifestyle, they want to force them into compliance with the idea that gay marriage is perfectly right and good.
And this was my epiphany.
You see, the people that oppose this law oppose it because they view gay people in the same light that they view minorities. In short: they believe that gay rights equals minority rights. They think that refusing gay people the right to marry (or whatever) is the same as telling black people they aren’t allowed to marry/sit in the front of the bus/whatever.
And now I understand why they are so upset about this law. And I get it. I still disagree, because I don’t view gay rights in the same light as minority rights. I hold religious freedom at a greater value. But I understand their perspective now.
I personally believe it’s more important that people not be forced to violate their conscience than it is to provide approval for gay people’s choices.
I think it’s more important to allow people be faithful to God than it is to affirm people’s choice of sexual partner.
And it seems to me that if gay people want acceptance, forcing people out of business doesn’t really seem like a good way to achieve that.
EDIT: Another thing occurred to me: The businessmen who are standing up for their faith are not concerned with judging the choices of the gay people coming into their businesses. They are concerned with their OWN choices. They aren’t judging the gay couples, they are saying, “Don’t make me sin by making me join in your celebration of what I believe to be sinful.”