Some thoughts on the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Indiana Welcome

Indiana is the 20th state to do this.  I think it’s great.  I don’t think a business owner should be forced to provide services in violation of their religious convictions. 

As has been seen in several cases, homosexuals wanting a service from a business owner, instead of going elsewhere, tried to force business owners with strong objections to their lifestyle to provide services anyway.  What do they want, do they want a cake or flowers or do they want to get some revenge?  How is failing to affirm a lifestyle discriminatory?

If all these folks have such problems with Indiana, please go to Colorado or California.  The anger some of the homosexual militants have reminds me of something that is recorded in Genesis chapter 19:

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

If the NCAA and Salesforce.com and other corporate entities are that offended, simply leave.  God will take care of his own.  There was a time not too long ago when nation-states were the seats of power in the world.  Today, we still have nation-states, but they are only a facade.  Corporations, especially international corporations, are the true holders of power now.  Christians will be making decisions – and already are – which will force them to choose between God and mammon.  “Have you signed these pre-employment documents?  Do you reject the Bible’s teaching on these matters?  Do you bear the mark that will allow you to continue to buy and sell?”

I ran into this at both Huntington and Herman Miller – corporations who use terms like “diversity” and “tolerance” to try to force people of faith to abandon or at least cover up who they are and what they believe.  I sincerely try to love everyone and treat them with dignity and respect – as I have been commanded to do.  I do not need some soul-less,
Godless corporation telling me how to behave, or telling me to put this little light of mine under some bushel.  As of right now I also have choices regarding who employs me.

Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

“‘Come out of her, my people,’[b]
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.   Revelation 18:4-5

Distinctions will continue to become greater between those who follow Christ and those who do not.  It will not be easy nor will it be fun, but we have been told that it would be so and we will not fight these battles alone, nor will Christ’s cause ultimately fail.

 

6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

I have a really good friend who happens to be an atheist.  He abhors homosexuality so his stand is not based on a religious conviction or belief.  His stand seems to prove that homosexuality (and all sin) violates things established in the creation.  Paul deals with this in Romans chapter 1.  But we should not stop there.  Read Romans chapter 2 and realize that it is only God’s remarkable grace that restores us, not anything within our own corrupt and fallen nature.  All have sinned.  Some realize this, and some do not.  For now, those who realize it bear all the burdens.  What did Christ say from the cross?

 

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his
clothes by casting lots.    Luke 23:34

Grace and peace,

Arjay

 

Indiana religious freedom act: how big a backlash?

Despite an outcry from businesses and organizations, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act,’ which critics say discriminates against gay Hoosiers and those visiting the state.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/blogs/indianas-religious-freedom-restoration-act-explained_900641.html

The backlash against Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” has come thick and fast.

As soon as Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the bill into law Thursday, vocal opposition came from businesses, organizations, civil rights groups, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, and at least one church asserting that the law would lead to discrimination against gay people.

The bill allows business owners to refuse to serve gay and lesbian customers or clients based on religious objections. For example, a bakery, florist, or photographer could refuse on religious grounds to provide their services for a same-sex wedding, which is legal in Indiana.

“Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith,” Gov. Pence said in a statement accompanying the bill signing.

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding about this bill,” Pence told reporters after the private bill signing in his office. “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would’ve vetoed it.”

The bill generated widespread opposition before and after Pence signed it.

The new law comes just days before the Indianapolis-based NCAA holds its final four men’s basketball tournament in that city. Will it do so in the future?

“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”

The Human Rights Campaign in Washington (HRC), which works for LGBT rights, warns that the law sends a “dangerous and discriminatory message” regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

“They’ve basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it’s ok to discriminate against people despite what the law says,” HRC legal director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement. “Astoundingly, Indiana representatives ignored the warnings of businesses and fair-minded Hoosiers, and now businesses owners and corporations are forced to consider other options when looking at states to invest in.”

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and local employers – including Alcoa, Cummins, Eli Lilly & Co., and Salesforce – spoke out against the new law when it was being debated in the state legislature, as such other major employers as Apple and Wal-Mart did in other states where such laws have been proposed.

Soon after Pence signed the bill, Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff announced on Twitter that he was canceling all programs that require its customers or employees “to travel to Indiana to face discrimination.”

The San Francisco-based cloud computing company bought Indianapolis-based marketing software company ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013 and has kept hundreds of employees in the city.

Also in response to Indiana’s new law, the Gen Con gamer convention and the Disciples of Christ church have threatened to pull their conventions out of Indianapolis. Gen Con is the city’s largest convention, with 56,000 visitors last year and an economic impact of $50 million.

The Disciples of Christ church sent a letter to Pence this week threatening to cancel its 2017 convention in Indianapolis.

“Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry,” Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star. Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is “hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees.”

Other conventions have concerns, including Indianapolis-based Kiwanis International, the newspaper reports. The organization will draw 10,000 people to celebrate its 100th anniversary at a convention this June in Indianapolis.

“We have received inquiries from members asking if any of our international guests (of varying religions) might be denied service in Indianapolis. This is attention our city does not need,” said Kiwanis International Executive Director Stan D. Soderstrom.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, opposed the bill.

“Indianapolis strives to be a welcoming place that attracts businesses, conventions, visitors and residents,” Mr. Ballard said in a statement. “We are a diverse city, and I want everyone who visits and lives in Indy to feel comfortable here.”

Based on the same concern about businesses and visitors, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a similar bill last year. The bill had been opposed by many companies as well as the state’s two Republican US senators.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Explained
http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/blogs/indianas-religious-freedom-restoration-act-explained_900641.html

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