I think it’s instructive to remember how the average person is processing the national debate over legal gay marriage and religious liberty. It is very clear that many people aren’t even aware of what exactly the dispute is about.
A recent discussion on “The View” is a case in point (see video above). The panel was discussing the Christian bakers in Oregon who were recently fined $135,000 for refusing to participate in a lesbian wedding.
Raven-Symoné argues that these Christians deserve to be penalized because they discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation. Symoné argues further that this behavior is no different than racial discrimination in the Jim Crow South. The Christian bakers won’t serve gay people just like white racists refused to serve black people. At least that’s how Symoné explains it.
But this is a terrible misunderstanding of the situation. These Christian bakers are not refusing to serve gay people because they are gay. They had in fact already served this lesbian couple in their bakery. These Christians have always been happy to serve gays and lesbians, and they did! They simply cannot in good conscience participate in a lesbian wedding. Their Christian beliefs prohibit them from doing that.
These cases aren’t going away. They are going to continue to come up around the country. And it remains to be seen how the courts will rule. In the meantime, it’s important for people to stop giving the impression that Christians are trying to institute some new regime of Jim Crow style segregation. That is not what is going on here.
Christians want to do business with all kinds of people no matter their sexual orientation. Christians are simply asking not to be coerced by the state into participating in gay weddings. Candace Cameron Bure did a great job explaining that in the video above. I hope that message gets through.