Indiana is ground zero in our nation as people struggle to live under law protecting the rights of all. The legislature of Indiana has modeled the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” or RFRA (pronounced “riff-ra”), of the 1993 federal law signed by President Clinton after a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and a 97-3 vote in the Senate. For 20 years RFRAs existed in the Federal government and 19 states before Indiana’s legislation.
Discrimination of any kind is wrong whether towards people of faith or those in the LGBT community. How to proceed politically is the Gordian knot in our land. Where is Solomon when you need him? That is why RFRA was implemented.
As a Christian my starting point is with Jesus. He loves me and all people. But that does not mean that Jesus agrees with everything I do which explains why he went to the cross on Good Friday and rose for our justification (Rom 4:25) on Easter Sunday. We practice the same discerning love with our children. Spouses do not always agree but they still love each other. We can love people without promoting their agenda, which is to say we can love people without agreeing with them.
If I were to see a homosexual being discriminated against I would do everything in my power to protect them because that is my duty toward my neighbor and I love them. But that does not mean I agree with, or will promote their lifestyle.
A Christian baker should bake a cake for anyone, homosexual or otherwise, who wants their product. To do otherwise is discriminatory and thankfully RFRA does not allow or encourage discrimination. However, RFRA does give legal protection to those who for reasons of conscience and faith are unable to decorate a cake with wording and insignia advancing same-sex unions.
Protecting the rights of all RFRA has made a distinction between the person and promotion of their actions—a distinction embraced in the church, practiced when raising children, and lived between spouses. If one can improve upon RFRA may that Solomon arise.
Rev. Karl Weber
St. John’s Lutheran, Ottertail
St. Paul’s Lutheran, Richville