(One Government Which Had the Same Idea as Rep. Emily Virgin)
Someone I know shared this article on Facebook: (Oklahoma Democrat Wants to Require Christian Businesses to Post Notice of Anti-Gay Discrimination | Alternet). I find it to be sickening. In response to a proposal to allow businesses to be protected from lawsuits if the owners refuse to participate in things contrary to their religion, Oklahoma Democratic state Rep. Emily Virgin wants businesses who want to opt out of having their business participate in “same sex marriage” put up a sign to “post a public notice of discrimination if they intend to claim that they have a religious right to refuse service to LGBT people.” Comments in the article show people wanting these signs to go up so they know what businesses to boycott.
It is not excessive rhetoric to point to the similarities between this proposal and the boycotts of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany. Now the supporters of the amendment resent that comparison and claim that this is not the same as the behavior of Nazi Germany “because Jews didn’t have a choice, but Christians do.” But that’s to miss the point.
The point is that certain politicians who find the existence of a religion or the exercise of the rights of religious freedom not to be compelled to do what one believes is morally wrong offensive is trying to make the people who belong to a religion and feel obligated to follow the practices of that religion and not participate in what a religion calls evil are being made public so that those who disagree with their faith can organize boycotts and other forms of harassment. This amendment is not based on the public good, but is aimed at harassing those who are unpopular.
(Another Group Which Had the Same Idea as Rep. Emily Virgin)
While its proponents seem to be citing examples of gas stations and restaurants arbitrarily denying people with same sex inclinations from entering, that’s basically a lie. In every case where a business has been sued, the circumstances have been that people wanted the business to actively participate in a same-sex “marriage.” A florist, a hotel owner, a wedding chapel, a photographer, a bakery—all of them were engaged specifically for the purpose for providing services for a same sex marriage, not for ordinary purposes.
So the basic intent of this amendment was to target Christians who believe marriage can exist only between one man and one woman and believe their business cannot cooperate with anything that goes against that belief. Proponents use terms like “discriminate” and “bigot” to justify this. Some want to go further. For example, Blue Nation Review blogger Daphne Zhang writes “This applies to websites, too. So run, bigots, run! Before the Virgin slaps that scarlet anti-gay badge on you!"
I imagine Daphne Zhang would like to put a badge on me.
Let me do it for her:
We are Christians and will not cooperate in what our faith says is wrong. Nor will we be silent in the face of wrongdoing.
17 Son of man, I have appointed you a sentinel for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, you shall warn them for me.
18 If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die—and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade the wicked from their evil conduct in order to save their lives—then they shall die for their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their blood. 19 If, however, you warn the wicked and they still do not turn from their wickedness and evil conduct, they shall die for their sin, but you shall save your life.
20 But if the just turn away from their right conduct and do evil when I place a stumbling block before them, then they shall die. Even if you warned them about their sin, they shall still die, and the just deeds that they performed will not be remembered on their behalf. I will, however, hold you responsible for their blood. 21 If, on the other hand, you warn the just to avoid sin, and they do not sin, they will surely live because of the warning, and you in turn shall save your own life.