Jan Brewer buckled.
The Republican governor of Arizona caved under the pressure, thus driving another nail in the coffin of religious freedom in America. She vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to assert their religious beliefs in rejecting any kind of involvement in same-sex wedding events, or anything else business-related that would violate their faith.
After the veto, she said, “To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand the long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes.
“However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.”
She failed on both counts. She struck a blow AGAINST religious liberty and opted FOR discrimination against people of faith.
One of the intents of the Arizona bill was to head off legal conflicts such as have happened in other states where business owners are fined, threatened, discriminated against or even put out of business because of their faith. Specifically, in Washington and Colorado, bakeries have been sued for refusing to use their artistry to promote same-sex marriage. A photographer in New Mexico was put in the discriminatory crosshairs of homosexual activists for the same reason.
The most recent religious freedom fracas was in Colorado, where a state appointee overruled a business owner’s religious faith and ordered him to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex duo. The state’s constitution doesn’t even recognize “same-sex marriage,” but officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom said it all boiled down to the government imposing “a new belief system upon (bakery owner) Jack (Phillips), one that is fundamentally at odds with his conscience and his liberty.”
The complaint to the state’s Civil Rights Division was filed by two homosexuals who wanted Phillips to provide them with a wedding cake. Phillips offered to provide other products, but, citing his own Christian beliefs, declined to produce a message on a wedding cake that conflicted with his faith. Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer, however, ordered Phillips, under threat of fines or even jail time, to violate his faith and provide the wedding cake to homosexuals Charlie Craig and David Mullins. As for Phillips, he says he would also refuse to bake a cake for someone under other circumstances.
“If a couple were to come in and ask me to do an erotic cake for a wedding, I would refuse to do that as well,” he said. “These are my personal standards taken from Jesus Christ and the Bible.”
Does anyone think a Jewish baker should be forced to make a cake for a group that wants to celebrate the birthday of Adolf Hitler? Should a Muslim black photographer be forced to photograph a KKK-themed wedding? Was it wrong for a supermarket in New Jersey to refuse to write the name of a couple’s 3 year old son in frosting on a birthday cake? The child’s name is Adolf Hitler Campbell.
Of course, many liberals love to attack Christians, so they call on the Bible for help. The Left loves the Bible except when they hate the Bible. The gay lobby’s favorite verse is Matthew 7:1: “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” but they never seem to get around to quoting Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”
With all of that in mind, I think it is reasonable to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” Would the Savior bake a cake for a same-sex wedding? If Jesus would do it, then it would follow that a Christian should do it. But, the fact is, Jesus wouldn’t do it, therefore a Christian shouldn’t do it, because His disciples are supposed to follow His example. Christ wouldn’t do it because it all comes down to one issue only and that is marriage. God gave a very precise definition of marriage in Genesis 2:24 and His Son repeated that definition in the New Testament book of Matthew.
“And He answered and said unto them (to the Pharisees questioning Him), ‘Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, FOR THIS CAUSE SHALL A MAN LEAVE FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder’” (Matt. 19:4-6).
Jesus affirmed His Father’s definition of marriage in the Old Testament as a union of one man and one woman. He would no more bake a cake for a same-sex wedding than He would bake a cake for a Roman centurion who wanted the wording on the cake to read “Caesar is God.”
Jesus would sit down with those who admit they engage in same-sex sex, an act condemned by God in several places in Scripture, and deal with them the same way He dealt with the Samaritan woman who was engaged in illicit sexual encounters (John 4:7-45, especially vv. 15-17) and the woman caught in the very act of adultery (John 8:1-11). What did Jesus say to the adulterous woman? “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
So what is a Christian to do when the State seeks to force him or her to violate the teachings of Jesus Christ? Scripture says His followers are to obey God rather than men. When man’s law conflicts with God’s law, believers are to obey God’s law. In light of what is happening in this great country, there are many Christians who are probably going to be fined and/or imprisoned because they refuse to bow to Caesar.
Guess what? That comes as no surprise to Christians. We knew this day was coming. Jesus said, “If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…” (John 15:20b). And, after that, believers know it will get worse. Again, Jesus said, “…whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2b).
Christians, it’s going to be a rough ride.
Ed Baswell pastors The Clarion Church and is the host of Crossfire Radio, weekdays from 7-9 am, on The Promise, 90.7 FM. The show is streamed live worldwide at promisetalkradio.org and at ktbs.com. It can be seen each day on the KTBS 24-hour, digital news channel.