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Guest Opinion: Religious Freedom & 'Gay Marriage' Cannot Coexist

By Matt Barber
4/20/2013 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

If 'same-sex marriage' becomes the law of the land, I can assure you that we will soon see a virtual explosion in the same kind of anti-Christian persecution Ms. Stutzman now suffers.

If you are a Christian in today's America, you too will almost certainly find yourself with a similar decision to make. When man's law violates God's law, you will have to choose which to obey. Choosing God can mean persecution. I've made my choice. How will you choose?

P>LYNCHBURG, VA (Catholic Online) - Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. - Psalm 73:6

"Gay pride" necessitates anti-Christian hate. It must. "Gay marriage" and other "sexual orientation"-based laws do violence to freedom and truth. They are the hammer with which the postmodern left intends to bludgeon bloody religious liberty and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.

According to the unequivocal moral precepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition - explicit throughout both the Old and New Testaments - homosexual behavior is sin. Sin is evil. Homosexual behavior is the central, defining characteristic of so-called "gay marriage." Therefore, "gay marriage" is evil. Christians are obligated to avoid sin - to "do no evil."

I know; it's not popular to speak such simple truths in today's politically correct world. But I'm not out to win a popularity contest.

Neither is Ms. Barronelle Stutzman. Ms. Stutzman is the Christian owner-operator of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Wash. She is, by all accounts, a lovely, sweet, elderly woman who both employs and regularly serves open practitioners of the homosexual lifestyle.

Sadly, she has become the latest victim in a fast-growing string of secularist attacks against Christians and other morally minded people. If "same-sex marriage" becomes the law of the land, I can assure you that we will soon see a virtual explosion in the same kind of anti-Christian persecution Ms. Stutzman now suffers.

Recently, one of Ms. Stutzman's frequent homosexual customers requested that she provide flower arrangements for his same-sex "wedding." She politely declined, saying that her Christian conscience and "relationship with Jesus Christ" prevented her from any involvement with counter-Christian "same-sex marriage." She was, quite simply, a Christian being Christian. The two hugged and parted ways.

Unfortunately, in our ever- "progressive" culture, being Christian has fast become a most dangerous proposition. As each homofascist demand is checked from liberals' sin-centric wish list, it only gets worse.

As a result of her constitutionally guaranteed religious free exercise, Washington state's newly elected Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed charges against Ms. Stutzman, seeking both a monetary judgment and an injunction to physically force her to violate her Christian conscience. He would compel her to either lend her artistic expression in support of counterfeit "gay marriage" - something Christianity steadfastly recognizes as mortal sin - or face further charges.

Speaking of steadfast, to her credit, Ms. Stutzman has stood firm. She has refused to cave under Ferguson's tyrannical torment. Ferguson, on the other hand, has revealed himself a creep and a coward - a "progressive" bully who apparently gets off on abusing elderly women. He's a disgrace to Washington state and should be thrown out of office and disbarred.

Still, this type of government persecution must be expected. Ferguson is a liberal. The liberal viewpoint is that any viewpoint, save the liberal viewpoint, must be criminalized and prosecuted.

Like many of us, Joseph Backholm, with the Family Policy Institute of Washington, has long warned about the consequences of radically deconstructing the institution of natural marriage. "Now that the law says marriage is genderless," he recently wrote of Ms. Stutzman's ongoing abuse, "those who think otherwise [must] . conform or be punished. . Now liberals believe they are legally entitled to someone else's labor."

To homosexuals I say this: Yes, you are equal in God's eyes. You are loved. These things are true, not because of your homosexual lifestyle, but, rather, they are true in spite of it.

Most homosexuals know intuitively, I think, that their lifestyle is unnatural and immoral and that the oxymoronic notion of "same-sex marriage" is a silly farce. Thus, they must force others to affirm both their self-destructive lifestyle and their mock "marriages" under penalty of law. They must physically compel everyone to engage their "emperor's new clothes" delusion, so they can feel better about bad behavior.

Well, my friend, making everyone else "call evil good and good evil" won't fill that dark void in your soul. Only repentance and redemption through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can do that.

When we give deviant sexual conduct preferred status in law, Christian morality becomes illegal. If you think government-recognized "gay marriage" is harmless to society, you're playing the fool. It places the Christian sexual ethic and free exercise of religion in direct conflict with law. It's my sense that many liberty-minded people are finally coming awake to this disturbing reality.

Although we all sin, Christians are commanded to neither support nor engage in evil. Hence, Christians - true Christians - cannot engage in nor condone the unrepentant practice of homosexual behavior. Neither can we support sin-centric "gay marriage."

This rudimentary equation is built upon the natural laws of moral physics. Christianity is magnetically charged truth. Homosexual behavior is a magnetically charged lie - a spiritual and biological falsehood. Christianity and homosexual sin are as north to south. Polar opposites cannot occupy the same position in time and space. They repel one another. It's physically, spiritually and legally impossible for religious freedom and preferred legal status for sexual sin to coexist in harmony. Ms. Stutzman's persecution is just the latest example of this timeless reality.

Why are Christians so afraid to call sin sin? It's time for invertebrate believers to grow a backbone. Truth, in love, is the balance. Yes, the world will hate you, because it first hated Christ. So what? Count it a blessing - even unto death.
Here's my recommendation: When those who are lost to the world hate on you, laugh at them. Then cry for them. Then pray for them. Follow Christ's example and ask, as did He, that God "forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Then get up, dust yourself off and get back in the fight.

Albert Einstein once said, "Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it."

He was right.

Barronelle Stutzman followed this advice and - though she currently faces government persecution for her choice - she has also become an accidental hero. Pray for her. I know God will surely bless her faithfulness.

Still, know this: If you are a Christian in today's America, you too will almost certainly find yourself with a similar decision to make. When man's law violates God's law, you will have to choose which to obey. Choosing God can mean persecution.

I've made my choice.

How will you choose?

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Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.) 

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