Few topics are as polarizing to the Christian community as gay rights. It seems that today, no matter which side of the fence you stand on, both sides of the argument for or against gay rights can use the Bible as a basis for their arguments. Both sides can point to scientific and psychological studies. Both sides can cite studies of family dynamics. Hardcore supporters of gay rights point and shout and call Christians bigots and hate mongers, and hardcore supporters of traditional marriage point and shout and call the LGBT community sexual deviants and sinners. Overall, the debate is just a bunch of people yelling at each other and trying to shut each other down.
I am part of a small group of Christians that deviates from mainstream faith based arguments against same sex marriage here.
Here we come to the meat of the issue at hand: gay rights.
I must address a few things outside of the Bible itself, though they are affected by it; namely the fact that our country was founded on religious (read Christian) principles. This fact is not arguable. Our country was, indeed, founded on religious principles. But more specifically, our country was founded on the idea that we as individuals should have the right to read our own Bibles and determine for ourselves what they mean- rather than having our leaders tell us what to believe. This was, in my opinion, a double edged sword. While we have the freedom to figure out what it all means, so now does everyone else. We set our own selves up for this. By designing our country to be the ultimate free republic, we have opened our doors to those who are not founded on our religious, Biblical, principles. Our very laws that were designed to protect us from discrimination from our leaders also protect those who believe differently than we do, and there isn’t much to be done about that outside of creating new laws that might open us up to that same discrimination we were protecting ourselves from.
Further, we must address how the landscape of religion in our country has changed. We have been, since our founding, considered a Christian nation. But are we truly a Christian nation? Roughly 84% of US citizens identified closest to Christians in 2000, down from 96% in 1900. (Source) That number dropped to 78% in 2007 and 77% in 2012 (Source and Source, respectively). In 100 years, the percentage of Christians dropped 12 percentage points. In 12 years it dropped 7 points. The number of Christians in our country is declining at a rapid pace, and it will not be long before we are in the minority in this country.
The news gets even grimmer- according to Religion News Service, roughly 40% of Christians are not “practicing Christians.” This means they identify as Christians, but they do not adhere to Christianity as a set of guidelines, either morally or spiritually.
What this tells us is that our “Christian nation” is rapidly becoming an “unaffiliated” nation. What this means for us as practicing Christians is that we are about to be the minority, if we are not already.
Can we really afford to limit the legal freedoms of any minority group of people when we ourselves are at risk of becoming the minority?
This brings us directly to cake and pizza. Indiana recently passed a law that was pitched as a bill to protect religious freedoms. While I acknowledge that a law protecting my right to practice my religion and barring other laws that would impede on that right is a good thing, I must also acknowledge that people are notorious for utilizing laws and legal loopholes to push their own agendas off on unsuspecting people all around them. Just look at the shenanigans the American media pulls every day in the name of freedom of the press and freedom of speech (if you need an example of this, read any article on the same political target from CNN and then FOX and you’ll see the bias of agendas clear as day).
I get what Indiana was trying to do- if only at the surface of the law. To the general Christian public, this most recent law was meant to protect them from having to adhere to laws that might conflict directly with their religious beliefs. On that front, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the law.
It’s when we take that law and we question an unsuspecting business owner (read: Pizza Gate), setting them up for a lose-lose situation, and then we get all righteously indignant when their response falls within what they would consider a religious protection, that we fall into the trap of loopholes and agendas. As Christians, we suffer the backlash of the LGBT community, and we all get lumped into one giant pile of intolerance. As supporters of equality, we suffer the backlash of the Christian community where we all get lumped into one giant pile of deviant behavior.
Both sides of the fight scream “I’m being discriminated against!”
But both sides fail to realize that cake and pizza don’t make a person any more or less equal to the person next to them. Both sides compare themselves to black freedom fighters, though cake and pizza have nothing in common with slavery and freedom. Both sides are screaming their heads off about their rights being trampled, and barely a sole on either side even lifts a finger to find a moment in time to simply love the person on the other side of the fence.
No matter where you stand as a Christian, because we are on both sides of this debate, you have been commanded to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14 KJV).
If we can’t do that, if we won’t do that, our day is coming. Our day when we are the minority and our freedom to claim the one thing none of us should be disagreeing about (“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV)) is in real jeopardy. If we continue to use our Bibles to design laws which limit the rights of those around us who do not believe the things we believe (despite those things having no bearing on us), there will come a day when those same people use those same laws to shut us down and shut us up.
Are you ready for that?
Or will you just let them eat cake… and pizza.
Many Kind Regards,
Katie reminded us that our country was founded on Christian beliefs. Creator Erin thinks religion should stay out of politics to keep it friendly. Read more about her thoughts here.