THE BEST THING I have read on this topic. April Kelsey is amazing. In a guest post at Unfundamentalist Christian entitled Your “Deeply Held Religious Belief” Isn’t Biblical, she dismembers the sloppy (or malicious) thinking behind fundevangelicals’ defense for violating the constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights of LGBT people. (Or forget about civil rights; how about just treating people in a civil manner?)
The deplorable fundie thinking goes something like this:
The Bible commands us not to approve of sin, and selling a pink cupcake to a gay man would be approving of his “lifestyle,” so in order to be true to my faith, I demand the freedom to refuse to serve him!”
Bullshit! I found it very worthwhile to read April Kelsey’s entire piece. But here are the basics.
The verse that nearly all of these Christians cite in support of their behavior is Romans 1:32, claiming that it says God not only judges people who sin, but also those who simply approve of sin.
First of all, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that says selling someone a product in the course of legal business shows approval of the buyer’s lifestyle or behavior. Nothing.
Second, that’s not what the scripture even says… <see original for more details>
So Romans 1 is about hypocritical judgment, not “passive approval.”
From an irreligious, purely commonsense perspective, it seems absurd to claim that selling someone a pastry equates to “approving of their lifestyle.” Are these people really willing to say that they DO APPROVE of everything their other customers do? And from a Biblical perspective, it’s even worse. It is the exact opposite of what Jesus commands. Again, from Kelsey:
For those still inclined to argue, I point to Matthew 5, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. This is the same passage wherein Christ mandates love for enemies. But it’s the preceding few verses that really demand attention:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”— Matthew 5:38-42 NIV (emphasis added)
So if giving someone something that they ask for shows approval for their sin, then Jesus just commanded his followers to approve of extortion, abuse and kidnapping.
Alleluia Amen! You go girl! (Hmmm, can I really pull that off? I’ve never actually said it in real life… but then again, I AM gay…)
When I started hearing of the county clerks who were refusing to issue marriage licenses because of the “deeply held religious beliefs,” my only thought was this: I have a deeply-held religious belief that people who don’t do the work they are hired to do should be fired.