So, the backlash against Indiana’s Religious Freedom law continues to grow, and one wonders whether things will spill over into violence soon against Christians. The media, with backing from some politicians and some businesses are treating the entire affair as being intended to allow free discrimination against people with same sex attraction—never mind that they are merely making a circular argument that assumes discrimination instead of proving it intends discrimination.
But as I read the news articles and the comments, I am seeing what is amounting to several huge self-contradictions that, when explored, makes these protestors out to be huge hypocrites. Here’s the problem.
- If nobody should be allowed to force their views on others, then nobody should be allowed to force their views of same sex “marriage” on Christian business owners.
- If it is acceptable for the law to make demands based on moral beliefs (by banning “anti-gay” discrimination), then it is acceptable for Christians to make law based on the demands of their moral belief.
See the problem here? If relativists try to define the issue the first way (“forcing views on others”) then they are obligated to avoid forcing their views on others, and they cannot try to compel Christian business owners to cooperate with their view that “same sex marriage” is morally acceptable. But if they try the other tactic and claim that they have the right to pass laws that say Christians must cooperate with their beliefs of right and wrong, then logically Christians have the right to pass laws based on their own beliefs of right and wrong.
No matter which universal they stake claim to, Christians can point out they are being hypocritical in their enforcement of it because it is being applied in such a way as to exclude those the protestors disagree with (the Christians), whereas, if opponents of Christianity applied those principles across the board, they could not condemn Christians for behaving as they do without condemning themselves as well.
However, Christians can’t be accused of approaching these two concepts with the same self-contradiction simply because we don’t hold them in the first place. The Christian view is not based on the idea of freedom to behave as one wants, but the freedom to behave as one ought. Anything that blocks a person from doing what is right or forces them to do what is wrong is a violation of that freedom. Because the concept of family as husband, wife and children passing on the values needed for the society to continue from one generation to the next is a building block of the society, the law can be justified in defending it. Things that harm that building block of society by tearing down the things that make it possible to continue society to the next generation need to be prevented and the law is reasonable in using just means to prevent them from destroying it.
So (simplifying greatly), I would say that the Christian moral teaching would hold this principle with no self contradiction:
- No law should prevent a person from doing what they believe they are morally obliged to do unless that belief causes actual harm to others or the breakdown of the common good (taking another life arbitrarily comes to mind here, as does attacks on the traditional family, committing violence against others without just cause).
- No law should force a person to do what they believe is morally wrong to do.
- Laws should promote the common good and protect the family and individuals from those who would actively seek to harm others.
Such a concept on law would not only protect the Christian, but the non-Christian from being forced to do wrong, it would protect society from individuals or groups who claim they have the moral obligation to murder or steal etc. It recognizes that real right and wrong do exist and seeks to make laws that makes it easier to do what is right, and put restrictions on wrongdoing that disrupts society.
No contradiction, no injustice. That’s the difference between the consistent Christian view and the self-contradiction of the inconsistent view of modern Christianophobia that pretends to be in favor of “rights” of all—except Christians.