The Thin Line

Several months ago, I did a post on gay marriage.  In that post, I said that nobody was going to force anyone to marry a gay couple if they didn’t want to.

Well, I was wrong.  That does seem to be what a whole bunch of people are trying to do.  Or threatening to do.  This is a violation the of First Amendment.  We don’t have to like it or agree with it, but it is.

But it’s not quite that simple, is it?  We’ve dragged discrimination into it, transgender issues, personal beliefs conflicting with secular work, the right of a business owner to run their business as they please…hell, we’ve even hauled restrooms into the debate.

Okay, okay, I know the things about restrooms is a legit issue for transgender rights people.  I’m just saying: as a concept, it sounds really, really inane.

I could go a lot of places with this post, but I think I’ll stick with the thin line between Christian beliefs, the business world and their relationship with the LGBT movement.  Just to get my opinion off my chest.

I was raised in the Christian church – Lutheran, specifically – and live in a largely conservative small town.  I am well aware of the general opinion homosexual unions in the conservative Christian church.  I am also aware their are Christian churches who are more than happy to marry same-sex couples.  Why, as a same-sex couple, you would want to get married in the former when the latter is available escapes me.  Perhaps I am missing the point.

I am a bit more clear on the issues with businesses who won’t serve homosexual couples, particularly where weddings are concerned.  If you see someone’s work that you like, even respect, and want it for your wedding day, it’s hard to be turned down because they think you’re immoral and don’t want to associate with you unless you want to change your ways.

Cruel description, yes?  But that is the issue.  On the other hand, is it right to ask business owners with strong religious beliefs to go against those beliefs?

Hm…perhaps that’s the wrong way to ask the question.  That, in itself, makes the answer look obvious – of course its discrimination.  Denying someone something because you don’t like them is always discrimination.  Perhaps a better way to ask the question goes as follows: is it right to force a business who wishes to establish itself as having conservative Christian values to go against a central pillar of their brand?  If you want to bill yourself as a conservative Christian business…well, currently, you are well within your rights to do so.  I, personally, am once again confused.  Why, as a business owner, would you turn down an opportunity to make money?  Isn’t that the point of having a business?  So you can do what you love and make money?

Perhaps, once again, I am missing the point.  My own traditional, conservative Christian values is about as unmoving as Jello during an earthquake.  And that’s being overly generous said values period.

Is there an answer?  Is compromise possible or even desirable?  Where is the thread-fine line between freedom for one and freedom for all?  I don’t really know.  And I’m betting no one does.  Not really.  Oh, everyone has an opinion.  The battle lines are being drawn.  Sooner or later, we may all have to take sides, whether we like it or not.

But I could be wrong.  I hope I’m wrong.



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