Arizona, Sloppy Sermonizing, and Service vs. Slavery: ‘Clean up on Aisle Nine!’

Lightning strikesloppy  (slŏp′ē)

adj. slop·pi·er, slop·pi·est

1. Marked by a lack of neatness or order; untidy: a sloppy room.

2. Marked by a lack of care or precision; slipshod: sloppy use of language.

Here’s a choice example of sloppy thinking vis-à-vis SB 1062, the Arizona Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Regardless of where one stands on the issue of gay whatever – for, agin, or neutral – the thinking evidenced below is a poor excuse for a reasoned argument. Or much else – unless you’re looking for something with which to slop the pigs. My comments are in regular font.

“Our head pastor never, I mean NEVER, mentions politics or political issues in his sermons. Today that changed as he spoke about the vetoed Arizona law. He took neither side, but he painted a very vivid picture. He briefly explained the law and its origins (law suits in other states) for those who were not in the know. Then he asked why wouldn’t a Christian baker make the cake? Our job as Christians is to serve others, not to be pious about our faith.”

That last line is about as wrong as Uncle Vlad getting a Nobel Peace Prize after invading Ukraine. Since this is a predominantly political blog, and not a theological one, we’ll leave that discussion for another forum.” (If you’re dying for an answer on that one, leave a comment and I’ll respond.)

The Real Question

On this particular topic, the real question isn’t why wouldn’t a Christian baker make the cake, but why should they be forced to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs in so doing? That glorious graven image much ballyhooed by every DemoLib on the planet is “Choice,” right? So why would a Christian baker, florist, wedding photographer or anyone else be denied same?

The other issue here – entire missed by Pastor PC – is the question of why the State should be involved in a private business in the first place? Why is the State, telling a business owner what business he or she can accept or politely decline? Shouldn’t that be up to the owner, comrade? Hello?

Really?

As for that bit about “being pious,” let’s take a look at what the word means:

  • Marked by or showing reverence for deity and devotion to divine worship.
  • Marked by conspicuous religiosity <a hypocrite—a thing all pious words and uncharitable deeds — Charles Reade>
  • Sacred or devotional as distinct from the profane or secular :  religious <a pious opinion
  • Showing loyal reverence for a person or thing :  dutiful
  • Deserving commendation :  worthy

Apparently Pastor PC has only definition #2 in mind vis-à-vis his comments. But in reality, being “pious” about one’s faith means taking it seriously. The sentiment expressed by Pastor PC is slick. It’s palatable. It’s PC. It doesn’t take any sides. It doesn’t “offend” anyone. It’s also gutless.

Jesus was none of the above.

Continues sis:

“Then he followed it up with another perspective, why didn’t those who were refused just go to another bakery? Who would want such an important cake baked by someone who didn’t want to do it? And why sue except in mean-spiritedness?”

Because in that kind of an equation, hon, it’s not about the cake! Or the wedding photos. Or the floral arrangements. It’s about shoving a particular lifestyle and worldview down your throat. And if you don’t like it, buster, see you in court.

“Both the action of denying the cake and suing the bakery are their own kind of activism. Both are prideful of their position. Neither one is serving the other or being a living example of faith or understanding. Acceptance is not just a one way street.”

An Olympic Medal Performance

I’ve heard some mighty convoluted, contorted thinking on this subject, but this one is worthy of an Olympic gold medal for floor ex.

This isn’t about “acceptance.” It’s about forcing everyone to agree with and condone and support a certain point of view. It’s about standing  the First Amendment (and most of the rest) on its head if you dare to respectfully disagree with a certain segment of society.

“Up until now I have been supportive of gay marriage but respectful of those who felt it was against their faith to support it. But after today, I see that these are opportunities for us to serve one another, and those opportunities should be taken.”

Hate to break it to ya, sis’, but that dog won’t hunt. Reason numero uno: A bill is a piece of legislation. That’s kinda what legislatures and governors do. Yeah. Legislate.

The issue isn’t  “opportunities for us to serve one another.” It was about religious freedom and equal protection under the law. Per a  March 3 communiqué from the Family Research Council:

“Overnight, a simple tweak to a bill that’s already on the books became characterized as a violent weapon of inhumanity meant to shame and oppress homosexuals. If the legislation didn’t change — what did? For starters, people stopped reading the bill. They blindly adopted the media’s outrage and “anti-gay” labeling without bothering to study the two pages of text and discover for themselves that nothing in SB 1062 would have given businesses more power than they already have to discriminate against homosexuals.”

Said Sen. Marco Rubio on last weekend’s Meet the Press:

“The notion that someone because they are gay would be denied service at a restaurant is something that Americans don’t support, conservatives don’t support. The other side of the equation is imagine now if you’re a Southern Baptist or a Catholic or even evangelical photographer, who does not believe, because of your faith, in gay marriage. And because of that, you don’t want to provide photographic services to a gay marriage. Should you be sanctioned by the state for refusing to do so? We’ve got to figure out a way to protect that as well,”

Question: Why are the rights of some more important than/allowed to trump the rights of others?

George Orwell put it this way in Animal Farm:  “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” SB 1062 is a perfect example of what happens when some are more equal than others: tyranny.

By the way sis, those “opportunities to serve one another” are directed to relationships within the household of faith. That doesn’t mean they’re moot in a broader context, but can we at least get the biblical framework and the theological moorings right?

Here’s the bottom line: “Service” is a choice. It is voluntary. When it is coerced by the State under force of law, it is slavery.

 

Clean up on aisle nine!

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