I used to be somewhat “on the fence” in the “gay marriage” debate.
If the issue is “equal rights under the law,” I see no religious dog in the race. If it is merely the right of a “same-sex partner” to care for a sick or injured loved one in the hospital, to transfer property, and otherwise participate in the legal/contractual benefits of the business aspects associated with having a household, there is some sense in which God’s command to care for and preserve creation given in Eden before the fall is actually served by “domestic partnerships,” “civil unions,” or whatever else you want to call it. This is true even if the means to accomplish it are corrupted by a misunderstanding of God’s will and design for marriage.
Sinners will sin, and unless and until they are converted by the Holy Spirit, we cannot expect anything else. Therefore, if the “gay marriage” debate were only about the state’s definition of who could visit a loved one in the hospital, transact business on their behalf, jointly share property, provide shelter and protection in the rental of an apartment, etc., I was even agreeable to the use of the term “marriage.”
I thought this way because I bought into the lie that these are just loving people who “just want the same legal rights to love and care for one another as married couples have.” I ignored the warnings of the alarmists who said this wasn’t the goal and aim. I dismissed the anecdotal evidence provided by those previously labelled “radical extremists” within the gay rights lobby that pointed to the fact that forced approval and acclamation of the homosexual lifestyle was the aim. And I took those seeking to love and care for others as best they could according to the dictates of their unconverted conscience at their word.
The recent events surrounding the Indiana RFRA law have significantly changed my perception and made me less accepting of the “party line” that all that is being sought is “equality under the law” to the end that two people in a committed, loving relationship should be able to love and care for each other.
It has become clear through this debate that it is not “equality under the law” that is being sought. What is being sought is the establishment of an American Civil Religion whose “god” “blesses” the union of men with other men and women with other women under the heading of “marriage.” And to this “god” all knees, even Christian knees, must bow.
My limited time during Holy Week and the reader’s patience will not permit a full elaboration of how this came to be. I’m not even sure the machinations will ever fully be known. However, I believe that it mostly came about because people of good will turned a blind eye to the evidence before them. It happened because most people in our country trusted that the good will they expressed toward others would be reciprocated.
It happened because, in an effort to protect the good intentions of those seeking to care for and love another human being, legislators went ahead with anti-discrimination legislation not realizing they were as manipulated as King Darius was as he signed Daniel’s death warrant (Daniel 6).
It happened because, even if there were lawyers and organizations wise enough to see the trap, judges would have been unwilling to strike down such laws because it simply defies the decorum of civil society to believe that loving and caring American citizens would ever use such legislation to force bakers to go against the first commandment of their God and force them acknowledge the false “god” of American Civil Religion.
But the establishment of an “American Civil Religion” is exactly what happens when a baker is forced to acknowledge the “blessed day” of the joining of two men or two women as “husband and husband” or “wife and wife.” It is what happens when the baker is forced to acknowledge the sanction of the state as the blessing of God. Likewise the photographer who is forced bow at the state-erected altar in order to enshrine the memory of the state’s “blessing” of the union. And it is no less so for the florist who is forced to use the good and beautiful gifts of the creator to mock His sanction and command of marriage.
That these things burden the very real consciences of very real people is to be expected. They are breaking the first commandment of their religion and are forced to acknowledge a false god and place the state in the role of the Almighty. Even Namaan, after his miraculous healing, is worried when his position as the King’s guard would force him to bow before the false gods of his homeland (2 Kings 5).
Jesus clearly taught that we are to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, He also clearly teaches that this is the second greatest commandment. First and foremost, we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.”
To be forced to give equal footing to the false god of American Civil Religion and acknowledge the blessings of the government as if they were the blessing of the Almighty is a fundamental breach of the first amendment protections against governmental establishment of religion. Whether originally intended or not, that is how homosexual “anti-discrimination” legislation is being used – to discriminate against the creed and conscience of people of good will and coerce their acceptance, allegiance and worship of a false god.