on business owners’ “religious rights”
Recently, there’s been a lot of political hay made over the idea that business people who would otherwise do business can refuse service on religious grounds, specifically refusing services to gay and lesbian couples.
Unless someone is consistently doing the same thing on all other issues of morality(previously divorced? one person a christian and the other not? etc), the choice to not provide services such as flowers or cakes to a couple due to their sexual orientation highlights an inconsistent politic.
Contrast this approach with Jesus’ teaching, specifically with carrying someone’s pack two miles instead of one (in the same sort of politic, isn’t this an endorsement of the Roman Empire?), or Jesus’ fellowship with those considered to be sinners by the Pharisees. The logic of refusing service you otherwise provide without question to straight couples is the opposite of Romans 2 (the kindness of God leads you to repentance). Instead we go with a logic of exclusion, believing that exclusion will bring about repentance, the very opposite of that shown by Jesus’ fellowship. The only place that I can think of in the New Testament where exclusion is encouraged is in the context of those calling themselves Christians but reveling in being the worst of sinners.
I’m not in the business of wanting to argue whether or not one ought to have the political rights to do so, because I’m far more interested in the politics of Jesus, which push strongly against this sort of logic of exclusion on grounds of belief that one’s life constitutes sinful behavior.