I normally don’t blog about political issues, but I can’t keep silent anymore. A law was passed in Indiana last month that provided businesses and religious organizations the right to not violate their religious convictions. Soon afterwards, LGBT advocates stormed the media with blatant lies that this bill was discriminatory. Gov. Mike Pence issued this statement at a press conference.
“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was about religious liberty, not about discrimination,” he said. “As I said last week, had this law been about legalizing discrimination I would have vetoed it. This law does not give anyone a license to discriminate. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana does not give anyone the right to deny services to anyone.”
And rightfully so, it didn’t. But lawmakers in Indiana and our governor have caved in to the pressure and added this clarification to RFRA.
It does not “authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”
According to law professor Mark Rienzi, the new fix will allow the state to prosecute Christians criminally for denying gay weddings their professional affirmation.
Marriage expert Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation said, “…the proposed fix amounts to nothing less than a wholesale repeal of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act with respect to those who need religious liberty protections the most.”
The Family Research Council issued a statement: “The new proposal guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and empowers the government to impose punishing fines on people for following their religious beliefs about marriage.” FRC president Tony Perkins said, “Religious freedom should not be held hostage to Big Business.” Much of the opposition to the Indian law came from major corporations who threatened economic retaliation for enacting the law.
Activist Linda Harvey pointed a finger at LGBT activists. “This ‘fix’ is everything gay activists could want.”
I recently spoke with Arkansas state representative Bob Ballinger who helped passed Senate Bill 975 (their version of RFRA).
I asked him if that bill protects businesses to refuse service for same-sex couples due to religion purposes, and he said, “We did.”
I then asked him so, “Arkansas’s bill does not have the same anti-discrimination verbiage as Indiana?” He said, “Correct.”
I’m not one who believes America is going to be saved through political efforts, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take time to call up Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana representatives to get RFRA repealed. If you live in another state, please call up your state lawmakers and ask for a law to be passed that is similar to Arkansas’s Senate bill 975.
More than ever before, Christians need to keep their focus on Christ. Fear and panic must be replaced with biblical faith and absolute confidence in our Heavenly Father. Preaching the gospel and fulfilling 1 Tim. 2:1-4 is our duty. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”