Christians Don’t Hate – But They Do Have Convictions

Posted on May 27, 2015 in Religious Freedom by

Hands On OriginalsA very significant court ruling was handed down not long ago and I bet you didn’t know anything about it.

The Fayette Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled that a printer did not discriminate by refusing to print a t-shirt for a gay pride parade.

Blaine Adamson owns Hands On Originals. This printing company prints many items, including t-shirts. Not long ago an LGBT pride group came to HOO asking them to print a t-shirt for the upcoming pride rally in Lexington. Adamson refused their request based on his religious convictions and offered to set them up with another local printer for the same price.

The group went elsewhere to get their shirt printed.

But, I’m sure you can guess where this is going, a discrimination suit was filed against HOO and Adamson.

I reported on this incident a while back because of some of the unique aspects to the case. For starters, this is one of a few cases that does not involve someone in the wedding services industry. Most of the cases of “discrimination” we are seeing take place involve photographers, bakers, and florists refusing services for gay weddings. Btu this is a printer being asked to print something for a gay pride parade.

If ever there was a need for protection surely it would be for someone printing actual words. Right? No one would try to force another person to print words that violate his religious and moral convictions, right? Wrong.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that HOO and Adamson discriminated against the gay group for not printing their shirt.

It’s hard to fathom the lack of logic that would allow someone to conclude that forcing another person to print a message supporting something that violates his or her deeply held convictions is acceptable. And yet, it happened. Even a local business owned by two homosexual women supported Adamson and HOO’s right to refuse to print the shirts. They, quite reasonably, understood that if the government can force HOO to print shirts that violate Adamson’s convictions, it can force anyone to do anything. So these two women became vocal supporters of Adamson and HOO against the discrimination suit.

Thankfully, the Fayette County Court reversed the decision saying that Hands On Originals declined to print the shirts based on the message and not on the sexual orientation of the people involved. The court wrote:

“[Hands On Originals]’s declination to print the shirts was based upon the message of GLSO and the Pride Festival and not on the sexual orientation of its representatives or members. In point of fact, there is nothing in the record before the Commission that the sexual orientation of any individual that had contact with HOO was ever divulged or played any part in this case.”

What has now come to light that was not in original media coverage of this story, is that HOO and Adamson have a history of serving homosexuals and Adamson has even employed homosexuals at his business. The popular narrative that anyone refusing to serve a homosexual event – such as a gay pride parade – is doing so out of animosity or hate comes crashing down under these facts. How a complaint of discrimination could be filed against a man that has happily served homosexuals and even employed them is beyond logic. At no point did Adamson or HOO object to the sexual orientation of the people making the request. Instead he objected to the message he was asked to print.

But that’s the point isn’t it? It’s not about how people are treated; if that was the case most of the current lawsuits wouldn’t exist. It’s about people objecting to homosexuality. Our society is being propelled in a direction that finds it offensive to simply disagree with someone. Every opinion has to be right, every view has to be correct or someone will be offended. Not only will someone be offended they will have a “right” to be offended. RIP tolerance, we already miss you.

States are now seeking to strengthen religious freedom laws in order to protect the faith of business owners. Despite objections to such laws, one recent report says that these laws have never been used to give a license for discrimination:

“Douglas Laycock, a constitutional scholar at the University of Virginia Law School who helped win passage of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said no one has ever successfully used such laws to override nondiscrimination statutes. He expressed frustration that gay rights advocates seem to be ignoring this in their attack on the Indiana law. ‘I don’t know if they don’t know that, or whether they’re pandering to their base,’ Laycock said.”

While there perhaps exists a fraction of the population that would try to discriminate based on some skewed view of religious teaching, the truth is that the overwhelming majority of Christians would condemn such actions. I did not support a Christian business owner that made public that he would not serve homosexuals at his auto garage. I find no basis in Scripture for his decision and rebuke such actions.

However, there is a far cry difference between serving people and being forced to take part in something – such as a wedding – that violates my religious convictions. Because I believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman as ordained by God, participating in anything that is different or contrary to that ideal is a violation of my religious convictions. No one should be forced to violate his or her deeply held religious convictions.

While the media has done their best to construct a narrative suitable to their agenda, the truth (reality) is that most Christians would happily serve homosexuals (and anyone else) with the same respect they offer any other person. Our commandment is to love others and consider others as worthy of respect. We do this out of obedience to Jesus and do so with joy. We only ask that our right to refuse to take part in anything that violates our convictions also be respected.

As someone recently said: “You’re not free if your beliefs are confined to your mind.”

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