Earlier this month, Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, signed a law that allows business owners to refuse service to people who are gay. The premise of the law is to protect “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions,” including the belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that sexual relations should only occur in such a marriage. It also says that a person’s gender is “determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth”.
My personal belief is that I will live in Heaven for all eternity, because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. To me that means that Jesus loved humanity enough to sacrificially become a human and suffer death by crucifixion to pay my debt of sin, so that I will not perish eternally in Hell. I do believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected three days after his death.
Given my belief as a follower of Christ, I am deeply ashamed of those who stand behind the Mississippi law, and others like it, where the tenets are supposedly religious protection. The Holy Bible is the book I hold as the God-breathed and inspired authority for my beliefs. While I am far from a theologian or Bible scholar, I can not recall any Scriptures which call for people to refuse to serve others who do not ascribe to beliefs and behaviors similar to their own. In fact, per my understanding, the Bible speaks strongly, through various stories and commandments, about displaying love, compassion, charity, and service to ALL people. The Bible tells of Peter being rebuked for his prejudiced attitude and behavior.
There are tons of other “religious” beliefs aside from mine. Never though, have I heard of any religion that encourages, embraces or supports the mistreatment or disservice of others. Most religions espouse values of love, kindness, compassion, humility, service, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. It therefore baffles and angers me when laws are passed which allow behaviors with opposite characteristics of most religions. You and I may disagree about what is moral, and that is fine. No matter what we believe to be moral, we should not enact laws based upon those beliefs. It is impossible to legislate morality.
It hurt and angered me to find signs online that refused service to: “niggers”, “homos”, “Jews”, “women unaccompanied by a man”, “sand niggers”, those who do not support the Confederate flag, and those who “don’t speak fluent English”. Those were images of real signs on businesses! In America! In 2016! If those business owners want to refuse service to groups of people they don’t like, that is their prerogative. I believe it is an insult to every religion I know of to use a law to turn away a group of people based upon who they are having sex with. If that is the case, why not refuse service to the adulterer or the person having pre-marital sex?
Simply stated, I’d rather see laws reflective of the motive and behavior of the Good Samaritan.