“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” This simple but poignant quote from Ronald Reagan was never more appropriate than the day and age in which we live today. Much of the liberties we have enjoyed in our past now stand alone on the precipice, teetering on the jagged edge of the deep chasm of tyranny.
It is no secret that in some corners of our society the well of tolerance towards those of Christian faith has dwindled to a small stagnant puddle or a dusty dry cistern. The teachings of love, salvation, redemption, yes, that arcane Pilgrim’s Progress towards that Celestial City, are viewed with a thinly veiled contempt or the open disdain that moral virtue is the scourge of civilization and must be removed. The American Christian now finds himself walking through the gilded streets of Bunyan’s Vanity Fair.
If Christians could just dispense with the profession of their faith and betray their convictions there would be no trouble, for this is what political and societal elites are demanding. What seems logical to the self-preservationist is unfathomable to a person of faith. This is the crux of the issue, faith, a belief in something bigger than themselves with vows and allegiances they cannot compromise; therefore, an easy target.
With a humanistic snort of disgust, the elitist feels compelled to remove or reeducate the weak-minded who cling to their obstructive convictions. Obstructive to whom and who are really the weak-minded? When did we become a Nation of such squeamish constitution and so flimsy a skeletal structure that a mere differing belief, disproval or even rebuke of ones actions somehow decimates a person’s freedom and the offender must be punished with the whole weight of the bludgeon of government?
The cry and the hue of late seems to that of liberty, yet the cry of liberty for some has been modernized to say, “Give me liberty and give them death!” Any that hold to the belief of moral absolutes are targeted for removal from influence in society. The “weakness” of conviction must bow to the “strength” of relativism; it’s the natural selection of civilization.
So just as the political rivals of the Hebrew Daniel convinced the King of Babylon to outlaw prayer knowing full well Daniel would not compromise his convictions, the trap has been set for Christians here in the United States. The traditions of procreation, marriage, are sacred within Christianity, as Christians are given a Biblical command to “raise up a Godly seed” and pass on the principles of Christ to each generation. These sacred traditions are now the bait to justify the persecution of Christians in this Country.
A recent political cartoon I happened across mocked the hypocrisy of relativism that is so prevalent in our society today. Two individuals are remarking over recent news. One tells the other that first, a hotel is refusing to have Bibles in its rooms, secondly, a mall is banning prayer, and thirdly, conservatives are complaining that Facebook is screening and blocking posts, all to which the other individual responds that these are a private businesses. It is their right.
When the first individual observes that several businesses have refused to participate in gay-marriages because of their religious beliefs, the other individual is furious and demands that the government punish these businesses. This would be humorous if not for the consequences of the hard irony. Again we have selective liberty, with just Christians targeted for denial of basic liberties and removal from the workplace of society.
Ask Barronelle Stutzman a Washington State florist, who had served a male customer, knowing he was gay, for years without discrimination. When he decided to have a gay marriage, Stutzman declined to do his floral arrangements on the basis of her beliefs, and instead referred him to another florist. This other florist provided the flowers to the man, and other florists even offered free flowers. Still the 72-year-old grandmother was sued, the Washington Courts have taken away her business, and ruled that all her personal belongings are now subject to suit…. because of her beliefs. She was targeted.
Whether you believe in the value of marriage or not, you should believe in the value of freedom. The political disposition of today despises the tenants of faith. Yes, although the tradition of heterosexual marriage is not exclusive to Christianity, Christians hold marriage as one of the fundamental rites that bind the foundation of their faith. While some will find smug satisfaction in the persecutions of Christians and their unshakable convictions, be wary that the bludgeon does not swing both ways.
As we trudge down this tired and over trodden road towards the doom of repeated history, ask yourself this: If a government can target a private business based on the religious beliefs of the proprietor, what is to keep it from targeting others for new things it deems intolerant? Beware of the other shoe! It just might drop. When we allow fools to march in and take away the decency and civility that was once the hallmark of our civilization, we have doomed liberty to die here in her last stand.
Updated: Barronelle Stutzman has been offered a settlement by the State of Washington’s Attorney General. Stutzman would only have to pay a $2000.00 dollar fine and one dollar in legal fees, but she must agree to contribute her services to gay marriages and dispense with her beliefs. The 72 year old florist has written a letter to reject the A/G’s offer. In the letter she states, “Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”