“They Could Not Buy or Sell”

devil-806649_1280

In the apocalypse of Revelation, John wrote of a day when you cannot buy or sell unless you carry the mark of the beast in your hand or on your forehead.  “It (the image of the beast) causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name” (Revelation 13, 16, 17).

If you believe in the second coming of Christ, the rapture of the church and a tribulation in this world,  this verse has always caused a shudder throughout your body and the hairs on your neck to stand on end.  It is the stuff books are written about and movies are made of.  In Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye’s very successful “Left Behind,” series, the lead characters struggle to find food after refusing to accept the “mark” which they associated with the mark of the devil.  The same is true in a book, “666,” by Salem Kirban.

In something right out of the pages of fiction, the Oregon labor board told a bakery that they MUST bake cakes for same-sex weddings, pay a fine of $135,000 and can no longer EVEN SPEAK about not baking cakes for these gay weddings  [1].  The Commisioner, Brad Avakian said that the bakery acted illegally.  [2].  This decision came on the heels of the Supreme Court decision to protect same-sex marriages through their interpretation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution under due process and equal protection.  And why was the bakery not baking cakes, because they have a sincerely held religious belief against support of homosexuality.  They were doing what they thought was their right under freedom to exercise their religion in the 1st Amendment.  This labor board decision essentially has closed the door to the bakery.  They cannot sell unless they turn away from their religious belief, they cannot earn money unless they agree with the Supreme Court.

Sounds curiously like Revelation.  I’m not saying this is the great tribulation, but I am saying it certainly sounds like persecution of the Christian.  Imagine, you are not even able to SPEAK against a homosexual wedding.  Not only is the freedom of religion removed but so is our freedom of speech, two of the major rights this country was founded upon.

What happened to the majority decision of the Supreme Court when Justice Kennedy said, “it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.” (page 27 of the decision).

Did you catch that?  Justice Kennedy said that those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate for those doctrines.  What happened to that voice in Oregon, Justice Kennedy?  Ask the bakery if they are free to advocate for what they believe!

But wait, the Oregon bakery is not alone; this is not an aberration.

In Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, city officials have told all ministers that if they refuse to marry a same-sex couple, they will go to jail.  That’s right!  A Pastor will go to jail if he exercises his freedom of religion. [2]

On the American Civil Liberties Union website you will find their victory against another cake baker who refused to serve a homosexual wedding.  The decision says that the cake baker “repeatedly considered themselves above the law” in discriminating against same-sex couples.  [3]  That so called discrimination was done as an exercise of their freedom of religion!

Additionally, the ACLU announced, following the decision of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, that it will no longer support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, stating that it would be used as a sword to discriminate against women, gays, and transgender people. [4]

But it’s not only bakeries, Washington State Court has fined a 70 year old flower shop owner for refusing to serve a same-sex couple.  In addition, she is ordered to serve same-sex couples in the future and to pay for the first couples attorney’s fees, which may cost her home.  Her response, “my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is most important.” [5]

If that is not enough, consider the statement of Democrat Senator Tammy Baldwin, in an interview on MSNBC, who said that the free exercise of religion applies only to churches and NOT to INDIVIDUALS [6]  (It seems to me that the government should start requiring those running for any government office to know something about history and maybe a thing or two about the bill of rights before they can occupy a government seat.)

How far can this go?  Well, let’s reach out and make some speculation.

It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where a cake baker is asked by a Satanist group to bake a cake that reads something like, “Satan has triumphed over Jesus,” or something similar or even more vulgar.  Can you object?  Absolutely NOT.  The equal protection clause is specific when it says that there is equal protection regardless of race, religion, and ethnicity.  Notice how it doesn’t say anything above marriage or homosexuality, and yet, the SCOTUS “found” a right, certainly it will apply it to a Satanic religion.

But wait, you say you are not a cake baker or a flower shop, so you simply don’t worry about it?  Consider a construction worker who is asked to build a Satanic temple…or a strictly homosexual chapel.  Can you object?  NO.  What if you are a newspaper, or even a conservative Christian magazine, can you deny a same-sex minister’s ad to perform same-sex weddings?  Can you deny an ad for Satanists?  NO.

And let’s move on to a Christian University.  I can see no way for a university to deny entrance to same-sex couples and be able to hold on to their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status or be eligible for federal grants.  Right now, there is some room.  For instance George Fox University, a Christian University in Oregon obtained an exemption to deny admission to a transgender student under Title IX, so as to continue to receive federal funding.  What are the odds that will continue with same-sex married students?

So, where are we?  Neither the bakery shop owner in Colorado nor in Oregon are able to sell, to earn a living, unless the set aside their religious belief.  Even the Pastor in Idaho cannot marry anyone, cannot exercise and perform a sacrament of God, unless they set aside their religious belief and do it for same-sex couples as well as others.  The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is under attack and it is very foreseeable that it will be repealed.  IF that happens, Christian Universities will either close or compromise.  At the end of the day, Christians will neither buy nor sell.  Are you ready?

 

Do you think this article is too extreme?  Is it just fantasy, or fear-mongering?  Ask the bakery shop in Oregon what they think.

This is the 4th Article in a series called IN THE LIGHT, articles reflecting on the Supreme Court decision to guarantee same-sex marriage in the United States.

Same-sex Marriage and Doing the Loving Thing.  An article on who decides what is loving.

If Homosexuality Isn’t Sin, Do I Need a Savior? An article on who defines sin.

Same-sex Marriage and the Death of the First Amendment.  An article on the decision of the Supreme Court and the effects it will have on the free exercise of religion.

 

{In related news, the Colorado Supreme Court has struck down the “Choice Project Pilot Program” as unconstitutional.  The program offered school children an opportunity to use a school voucher to attend any school they desired.  The Court struck it down because the voucher could be used at a Christian school as well as any other private institution.  The court said the program aided religious schools. This case was also brought and won by the ACLU [7].}

[1] http://dailysignal.com/2015/07/02/state-silences-bakers-who-refused-to-make-cake-for-lesbian-couple-fines-them-135k/?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=morningbell&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRogvanIZKXonjHpfsX66usoWKaxlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4IScRrI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFQrLBMa1ozrgOWxU%3D

[2]http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/20/idaho-citys-ordinance-tells-pastors-to-marry-gays-/

[3]http://aclu-co.org/court-rules-bakery-illegally-discriminated-against-gay-couple/

[4]  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-should-amend-the-abused-religious-freedom-restoration-act/2015/06/25/ee6aaa46-19d8-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html

[5]http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-grandma-florist-fined-1001-ordered-to-work-gay-weddings-but-refuses-says-she-wont-betray-jesus-state-threatens-to-take-her-home-business-away-136613/

[6]  http://mediatrackers.org/wisconsin/2015/07/02/sen-baldwin-1st-amendment-doesnt-apply-individuals

[7] http://aclu-co.org/aclu-americans-united-applaud-colorado-supreme-court-decision-striking-down-voucher-program-funding-religious-schools/

 

Share and Enjoy

, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Email
Print