Religious liberty vs. ‘gay marriage’

Matt Barber's picture

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 other than 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?

[Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action in Forest, Va.]

mudcat's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
Pretty slippery slope we just got on

First they force you to buy health insurance or you will be fined.
Next we can't buy 16 oz. soft drinks for some obscure reason.
Now they want to prosecute a Christian heterosexual florist for not doing a homosexual wedding.
Then they want to register and confiscate all privately owned guns.
Oh yea, almost forgot - we are expected to pay for lawyers to defend our local politicians for their own ethical lapses.

Isn't there bound to be a citizen's revolt of some kind as the mindless government thugs keep gaining power over every aspect of our lives?

This is not the same country I was born into. Does anyone in their right mind see all this as progress?

danz57's picture
Joined: 07/29/2012
Liberty & Marriage???

It’s really hard to know where to begin in replying to this column.

Mr. Barber seems to believe that that everyone should live by the tenants of his religion and if they don’t then they are persecuting him. In the case he references, Ms. Stutzman was in violation of the laws of Washington State and Mr. Ferguson was performing his sworn duty as Attorney General in upholding the law. This does not make him “a creep and a coward” as Mr. Barber states (very Christian of him by the way).

Ms. Stutzman does not have the right to discriminate by refusing to sell flowers because she doesn’t approve of the purpose or event where those flowers will be used. Should a Christian pharmacist have the right to demand proof of marriage from a customer before selling contraceptives because he believes sex between unmarried people to be sinful? Of course not.

Also troubling for a column appearing in a supposedly secular publication is the assumption that a conservative Christian worldview is normative for our whole society. Mr. Barber writes that, “Only repentance and redemption through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” will “fill the void in their souls”. I’m sure the millions of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Atheists in the U.S. will love to hear that.

Mr. Barber, the modern United States is an incredibly diverse country of many backgrounds adhering to many religious beliefs and none, and all demographic surveys show that it is getting more so each year…deal with it!

kcchiefandy's picture
Joined: 09/18/2009
Well, yes, danz...

...a pharmacist can demand that, if they decide to do business that way. You seem to believe that buying something is a God-given right; it is not. A business can set their own rules, in most cases, on how the run THEIR business. A bar owner can choose to not serve you; a restaurant can demand you wear shoes, on so on... Ms. Stutzman was fully within her rights to not provide HER business services to a person/event she did not approve of, for whatever reason.

Obviously there are cases where such refusal is illegal - home ownership discrimination, medical care issues, etc... - but in this case she is in the right. This is simply another case of government trying to shove homosexuality as 'normal' down the throats of the citizenry.

danz57's picture
Joined: 07/29/2012
Well, no they can’t

From the Seattle Times “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation.” This is a Washington state law that makes it clear that, “If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service.”

Marriage equality is the law in Washington and the Washington AG is doing his job in enforcing the law. This is simply a case of discrimination against a class of persons based on their identity and is really no different from racial or ethnic discrimination.

You state that, “This is simply another case of government trying to shove homosexuality as 'normal' down the throats of the citizenry.” Well, it’s normal enough for those of our fellow citizens who were born gay. Far from shoving it down our throats, it is the case of government responding to changing attitudes.

Polls consistently show a majority of Americans now support marriage equality and among the rising generation of younger Americans the support is overwhelming. As of today, eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden) recognize same sex marriage. Here in the U.S. nine states—Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington state and the District of Columbia and three Native American tribes have all legalized same-sex marriage. This is clearly the wave of the future.

Its just basic human rights and I can’t…I mean I really can’t begin to understand why some people feel so threatened by it and are so opposed.

kcchiefandy's picture
Joined: 09/18/2009
Oh - it's a STATE law.

One more reason for me never to visit or live on the Left Coast. My neighbor is marrying his dog - they've been together for 14 years, so that's their right, and they've been discriminated against because many restaurants and stores won't let them in or be seated...

As said many times, it's just attempting to rationalize sexual deviancy.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005

Saul murdered Christians - which was certainly a sin. He was judged by God, according to scripture, and serves The Lord today as St. Paul. God's law guides those who are church going and religious. Our Founding Fathers wisely separated church and state. There are Christians who would gladly supply flowers for a same sex ceremony. (Many have). In our country, we have the 'right' to not participate, we don't have the right to legally 'deny' a 'right'. Justice please - and common sense.

Joe Kawfi
Joe Kawfi's picture
Joined: 07/20/2009
Proof you can't fix stupid
Davids mom wrote:

Saul murdered Christians - which was certainly a sin. He was judged by God, according to scripture, and serves The Lord today as St. Paul. God's law guides those who are church going and religious. Our Founding Fathers wisely separated church and state. There are Christians who would gladly supply flowers for a same sex ceremony. (Many have). In our country, we have the 'right' to not participate, we don't have the right to legally 'deny' a 'right'. Justice please - and common sense.

So many fallacies in DM's post, it's hard to know where to begin.

The 2 Boston bombers were church going and religious. Did God's law guide them last week?

There is now such thing as the separation of church and state in the constitution. It's something made up by the bedwetters. There is no establishment of religion by the state. Apples and oranges.

Marriage is not a right.

Now you know why Johnny can't read.

stranger than f...
stranger than fiction's picture
Joined: 06/27/2012
Thinking outside the box for Joe

Joe actually posted a reply without blaming President Obama for all evils. This should be seen as "thinking outside the box" for him.

Congratulations Joe!

Joe Kawfi
Joe Kawfi's picture
Joined: 07/20/2009
obama picks another loser

Another Obama Green Project Folds after Getting Millions from Taxpayers

Undoubtedly taxpayers will take a huge hit. This already happened with Solyndra, the northern California solar panel company—bankrolled by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser—that folded after getting $529 million from the government. Despite the “serious concerns” of U.S. Treasury officials about the risky infusion, a federal audit exposed how the controversial deal was suspiciously rushed through for a politically-connected entrepreneur that had raised large sums for Obama. Judicial Watch is investigating the Solyndra scandal and has sued the administration for records related to the shady deal.

And now, this post will be followed by a response from the bedwetters that take it personally when I post something negative about their messiah.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
However that being said...Joe is right.

...stf you might try arguments instead of semi-veiled insults.

First Joe is right on the Separation of Church and State... Many believe this is actually in the Constitution. Teachers of course should know better but what can you expect from Government drones.

Second..Marriage is not a Right.. If I own a business I have the legal right to refuse service to whomever I choose. Activist Judges and Legal Sharks disagree but in this political climate of forcing Healthcare on the People not surprising...

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