The Republican-led house has approved the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act and is awaiting senate approval. This piece of legislation is meant to protect non affirming Christians from withholding their services from same-sex marriages like baking wedding cakes. The bill is being critiqued for being too broad in nature and could allow people of any profession to deny services to LGBT people. “For example, a Christian doctor who does not believe in a gay lifestyle would not have to treat a gay patient,” CBS Detroit legal analyst Langton said.
Those advocating for this bill probably don’t intend for medical professionals to deny their services. It was intended to “protect” venders from contributing their services for same-sex marriage ceremonies. The bill is simply too broad and could allow for medical professionals to withhold treatment. And that’s a cause for concern because there are people who want to see us dead and feel justified in this citing scripture. Yet, even if medical professionals do not take the opportunity, venders certainly will. And there’s no biblical case for discriminating against LGBT people.
It’s time we settled this once and for all: If Jesus were given the option to bake a cake or deny service to a same-sex couple, Jesus would bake the cake.
As Author Emily Timbol has already pointed out, not baking a cake for a gay couple is due to homophobia.
“The issue is that some business owners, like Mr. Klein, make an unholy distinction: one of the ‘sin’ of homosexuality over all else. Which is wrong. Indefensible. And without scriptural backing.
They do this with intentions that they think are pure. In their minds, baking a wedding cake for a lesbian couple is tantamount to waving a rainbow flag at gay pride. It’s a condoning of something they do not agree with, believe is wrong, and think is sin. I understand that, I do. But this is not theologically accurate. Business transactions are not yokings. You’re under no biblical obligation to only accept money from people who think and believe exactly as you do.
Indeed, it is not biblically accurate to say that a business transaction is “supporting” any sin. But if we still have any doubts left that Jesus would bake the cake, let’s look at the model that Jesus left for us. Indeed, Jesus stood with the oppressed time and time again. He stood in the way of an angry mob and protected the woman caught in adultery. (Before you say “yes but he said Go and sin no more” I’ll remind you that it was Jesus who said it in a private conversation with her.) He touched lepers and rebuked those that shunned them.
If you still weren’t convinced; Jesus washed the feet of Judas knowing he would betray him. One could say if we believe baking a cake somehow leads to sinning against a traditional sexual ethic then inviting Judas to the last supper and washing his feet lead to the betrayal of the Son of God. Still, knowing this Jesus served him. It’s time Christians followed suit and served the least of these.
A pastor in Jamaica took note and washed the feet of lesbian and transgender visitors at his Church, which angered his congregants. Jamaica is one of the most dangerous countries for LGBT people with high rates of violence and hate crimes. Which made the act, as reported by the Jamaican Gleaner, “an unprecedented act within local church ministry.” The fact it’s unprecedented should be an embarrassment to all Christians. Because that my friends, that was the gospel in action.
Religious discrimination is still discrimination. Religious freedom was created by our founding fathers to allow us to practice freely our religious beliefs. Today, “religious freedom” is being used as a guise to practice discrimination, in this case, religious homophobia. We can hide behind our theological beliefs, as we have many times in the past, but it doesn’t change that fact we’re discriminating. Buzzfeed reports the Michigan bill is expected to die as did the infamous Arizona bill. Hopefully soon some Christians; obsessive need to discriminate against LGBT people will also die out.