Religious Liberty Fined $135,000

When does the exercise of religious liberty become illegal discrimination? Stated another way, when does equal treatment cause someone to limit the free exercise of their religion?

That is the question with which our country is wrestling. Right now, the State of Oregon has ruled that religious liberty should take a back seat to freedom from discrimination.

Radical gays – those described in the FoxNews article – don’t want equality of results – they want to see any religious doctrine that holds to a traditional marriage of one man/one woman eviscerated from America. Many gays I know would not have sued the bakery – they would have taken their business elsewhere. This is the mature response. The militant response is to send the family death threats and threaten those who do business with the bakery. That’s mature – that’s tolerance.

The Supreme Court’s ruling last week giving gay marriage constitutional protection is sure to mean that we’re in for years – if not decades – of legal battles. But while the battle rages, the Lord is looking for Christian Business owners who will not flinch in the face of legal, economic and/or cultural opposition – dare I say persecution. He is looking for Christian Business owners who will remember that He is totally sovereign over all the affairs of men. He is looking for Christian Business owners who will react with love and compassion when opposed by those who opposed God’s laws. He is looking for Christian Business owners who will not panic, but will use the resources He has given to them to fight the good fight and entrust themselves to the One who gave His life for them.

If we are to survive as a nation with our basic liberties intact, religious liberty must win. This week, it was fined $135,000. Unfortunately, I believe there will be larger prices than this to pay by a wider group of Christians in business before it’s all settled. The larger the price to pay, the more important it is to pay it. Freedom isn’t free – this includes religious liberty.

Bill English