It seems like it took no time at all after the advocates of same-sex marriage gained legitimization for them to go on the attack against people who believed differently. To any who doubted, it should now be clear that the agenda reaches beyond the legal right to marry, reaches to the mandate for approval. Those who are in any way involved in celebrating marriages–excepting the church, which for the moment maintains its right to dissent–must celebrate same-sex marriages. Refuse, and you face the awful persuasive force of the argument ad baculum.
An incident most recently come to my attention is the case of a Christian couple in my native Illinois who refused to rent their bed and breakfast to celebrate a same-sex union. From the news story, it looks like they made themselves particularly odious to the prospective renters, by daring to make their religious views explicit through the exercise of free speech. Such things (‘intolerance’, the cultural gurus would say), apparently, must not be tolerated.
The judge in the case has ruled that this exercise of freedoms Americans have enjoyed since the founding of our nation merits an $80,000 penalty. Dear judge, you will one day stand before a Judge who understands true justice and is not moved by the vagaries of shifting post-modern mores; what will you say then?
But the encouraging note in this grim news story is expressed in the title, that the couple being persecuted here remain “defiant” in the face of this ruling against them. Defiance is perhaps not the typically advised Christian attitude, and in a case like this I would have used a more unequivocally positive term (“Faithful” comes to mind), but there is a place for defiance. When the government puts its clout behind the sexual revolution and says, “celebrate or suffer the consequences”, defiance is appropriate.
As far as I can tell, the battle isn’t over. It will take some more definitive court rulings before we see whether Christian businesses will be permitted to operate with freedom of conscience or whether we must vacate certain industries or run the risk of persecution. Until then, and in whatever analogous cases may come, we should heed this example of a good and necessary defiance–a defiance that refuses to bow to Caesar because of devotion to Christ.
Jesus is Lord.