My what a petty, self-indulgent country we have become. We are all about the First Amendment, only if it favors us. The rest of the world be damned. It frustrates me, especially in the world of Christianity and the gay community.
I saw two memes on Facebook today and I found them both to be relevant. One said, "If you think it's a sin....then for you....it is probably a sin." Notice the meme said, "for you." It didn't say for the rest of the world, only you. I take this to mean that if you feel something is sinful and it falls outside of the Ten Commandments, then for you and your conscience....it probably is a sin.
The other meme said, "Jesus ate regularly with thieves, whores and sinners, but you can't make a cake for someone who is gay?" Hmmmm. If we believe it is not our place to judge and only God's, maybe this holds some merit.
So now that I have people scratching their heads and wondering where I am going with this.......
There are two sides to every situation. In most cases, both sides believe the way they do for a reason and both sides should at the very least be listened to. So lets look at this. I am a Christian and I believe in the Bible and the Ten Commandments. The thing to remember though is that while the Bible is the word of God (old testament especially), it is man who is discerning the word of God. Did Jesus truly eat with with thieves, whores and sinners of all kinds but find homosexuals, to be especially heinous? As for the Ten Commandments....those were written by the finger of God and I judge my own sins by the commandments. The sins listed within them do not list homosexuality, so I don't really see being gay as a sin. I also don't really see it as being a choice. I have known way too many gay people and it really never was their choice. All of this being said, many Christians do believe that homosexuality is wrong.
I know many kind and loving Christians who feel that you love the person but hate the sin. Yes, they see homosexuality as a sin. Perhaps this perception comes from those who represent their sexuality in the face of everyone. Most of us really don't care what you do behind closed doors, but many in the gay community like to take it to the streets, half naked and throwing their sexuality in the face of all present. Of course, that is their First Amendment right under freedom of speech and as an American, I know that I would not be willing to take it away from them. If I don't like it or don't want to see it, I simply don't attend a gay pride event. I will not take their rights or their beliefs away from them just because I don't agree with how they are presenting themselves. After all....this is America....right?
So what about the Christians, who do feel that homosexuality is a sin? What about those that feel that participating in an event or supporting homosexuality in any way is a sin? We are not talking about those who belligerently demoralize, hate and harm gays. We are talking about people who love the person but see the gay lifestyle as a sin. We are talking about someone who owns a bakery, flower shop or venue and because of their beliefs and under their First Amendment right for Freedom of Religion along with the age old American tradition, that as the owner of a business you have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, declines making a cake, doing flowers or renting a room for a gay wedding or event. Should their rights and freedoms also not be respected?
The flip side to this was when a gay run bakery in California was asked to make a cake for a group that was known to be unsupportive of the gay community. The baker refused. No one lost their business or their livelihood and the bakery were touted as heroes in their community. How is this okay? How is this fair? How is this anything close to what Americans should act like?
And here is a question for you? If you went to a bakery and they did not want to make your cake for whatever reason, why would you demand they do? Why would you want to put your special day or event in the hands of someone who didn't support you? Is it at this point that it then becomes the principle of the thing? Are you expecting....no demanding them to respect your right to believe as you do, but you do not respect their right to believe as they do?
Now I know many gay people who would just simply say, "You don't want to make my cake? Fine! I will go to someone who does." End of story. They don't expect everyone in the world to agree with them, like them or even accept them. They know however, that there are those that do and they will take their business and their money to them. They don't try to destroy a business, a livelihood or a family.....just because someone didn't want to make a cake. You know what this is called? Respect for others beliefs!
So many lines get crossed when people demand respect without giving it. You can't try and take peoples rights away and expect yours to continue to stay in tact. People are losing their businesses, livelihoods, reputations, etc....because we only want the First Amendment if it serves us and only those who agree with us. We are slowly imploding in on ourselves and I am not sure we are even aware of it.
In this country, you can be gay. In many states, you can be gay and get married. In this country, you can also be Christian. You can believe that being gay is a sin. In this country, you can own a business and refuse service to anyone for any reason. You can speak up about what you believe in and what you don't believe in. In this country, all Americans have the right to free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of belief. This does not mean we have to agree, but it does mean we have to respect each others rights. Individually it is fair and in a democracy with a majority vote, it is the fairest form of government. Taking rights away because we disagree leaves us all at risk.
I say if you are Christian business owner and don't believe in supporting a gay event....don't. If you are gay business owner and don't want to support and anti-gay event, by all means....don't. If you are gay and want an amazing wedding or event, then go to a business that will support you and make your event all you want it to be. If you are Christian and don't agree with gay weddings and gay events.....don't go. Both sides have the right to believe as they do and both sides should respect that. After all, it would be a shame to lose our freedoms and rights over......cake.