We are in uncharted waters in this country. We have two groups whose rights have put them on a collision course with each other, and instead of protecting both groups, the solution seems to be to prosecute one and champion the other.
The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion in this country, but it does so much more than that. Freedom of religion is more than just the freedom to go to church or own a Bible. Freedom of religion does us no good without her sister, the free exercise of religion. This means that, not only are we free to go to church and read the Bible, we are free to live out the principles that the church and the Bible teach. The teachings of Scripture are not to be confined to inside the four walls of the church or the home, but they are meant to be freely lived out in our places of work, schooling, and communities.
These teachings make up a worldview that governs the daily actions of the Christian. They are not one part of the Christian—they form the Christian. To ask a Christian to check his Christianity at the door when he enters the office, the grocery store, or the restaurant is impossible. And illegal. That is why the founding fathers gave us the First Amendment.
Atheists are never asked to leave their atheism at home. They get to carry their atheistic worldview with them wherever they go. They have the right to be practicing atheists, even if it bothers practicing Christians, because they enjoy the same First Amendment rights Christians enjoy. While the groups may disagree, they can coexist. That is the beauty of freedom. Whether you like it or not, this country was established upon a freedom of religious expression.
Beginning this summer, five members of the Supreme Court ruled that homosexuals have a Constitutional right to marry each other. Whether you like it or not, they have been given the same rights to marriage that heterosexuals enjoy.
So here we are on a collision course of Constitutional rights. The Court says gay marriage is the law, so no one can refuse to bake a cake for their wedding, supply flowers for their reception, or affix their name and seal of approval to their marriage license.
But that same Court has two centuries worth of precedent protecting the rights of the other group, the people of Judeo-Christian faith. Whenever an organization of godlessness has tried to shut down or shut up people of religious beliefs, the Courts have sided with faith.
But not any longer. The bakery owners are being fined, the florists driven out of business, and a clerk now incarcerated. These are not actions indicative of the United States of America, that great beacon of hope and freedom; these are instead the actions reserved for dictators of oppressive regimes that squash freedom and silence opposition.
Lexington County Clerk of the Court Kim Davis is behind bars indefinitely. She will be released once she agrees to violate her deeply held religious beliefs. If that story emerged from Castro’s Cuba we would not be surprised. We should all be alarmed that it is happening here. We are now seeing a government that destroys its detractors.
One group is clearly being victimized by the Federal Government. What about the other group? Your tax dollars paid to wash the White House in gay pride rainbow colors. If they hoisted the Christian Flag above the Capitol we would hear cries about the mythical separation of church and state.
Why should Washington pick sides in this issue? Instead of picking a winner and condemning a loser, we need a compromise that protects both groups. If the Courts want to give homosexuals the right to marry, they need to do so only while also protecting people of faith.
There have to be religious exemptions for people of faith. If one baker refuses to bake a cake, there are plenty of other bakeries. There are six deputy clerks in Kim Davis’ office, five of which agreed to issue licenses to homosexuals (the one who refused is Davis’ son). We need to live and let live. Instead of trying to ruin those who live differently than we do, we need to cohabitate in this great, diverse, free country in which we are blessed to call home.
We are on a collision course. Unless someone intervenes there is going to be a devastating crash.