Growing Anti-Christian Discrimination
As we warned in the run-up to the passage of the Disrespecting Marriage Act, the growing tide of anti-Christian bigotry will not stop until our representatives stand up and give a full-throated defense of religious liberty. Our friends at The Family Foundation, our sister organization in Virginia, experienced this last week. They had an event scheduled for weeks at a local restaurant, and at the last minute, less than two hours before the event, the restaurant called to tell them they were no longer welcome. When asked, the restaurant’s owner confirmed that it was because of their beliefs.
We stand with The Family Foundation, and highly recommend that you read their breakdown of what happened last week, here.
Also mentioned in their blog post is the fact that their former database company “discontinued [us] as a client” last year; a situation we are very familiar with, as the Indiana Family Institute was also a client of that database company. We were also forced to change platforms, at significant expense.
This level of deplatforming for mainstream Christian organizations is fairly new. The cases people are familiar with, like Jack Phillips and the Masterpiece Cakeshop, where a Christian baker refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a gay wedding, have a level of nuance that is missing from the case of The Family Foundation and the restaurant. The baker didn’t agree to make the cake, before changing his mind the day of the wedding, leaving his clients in the lurch. The baker didn’t even say that the couple couldn’t buy other items from his store; he simply declined to perform artistic work that celebrated something that goes against his beliefs. If you don’t believe designing a wedding cake is an artistic work, talk to any woman in your life who’s ever been a bride and they will disabuse you of this notion.
As our friends at The Family Foundation said, “we believe individuals in private business should not have to violate their convictions, which for some Christians means not celebrating what God has declared sin (Roman 1:32). However, most, if not all, faiths not only allow for the provision of services, like food, to those with whom they disagree, but they also encourage it.”
Here at the Indiana Family Institute, we don’t believe that people should be forced to do business with us, but we believe that this needs to be an even playing field. If secular business owners are allowed not to do business with us because of our beliefs, Christian business owners should be equally free to abstain from doing business with people who do not share their beliefs, at their own discretion.
This looks unlikely to happen, in part because of U.S. Senator Todd Young, who voted for the Disrespecting Marriage Act last week. Sen. Young turned his back on the voters who had just sent him to Washington and is now openly supporting same-sex marriage.
Though times may be harder for Christians in the days to come, remember Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”