I can remember sitting in Bible class as a teenager, and half-listening to my teachers talk about standing up for Jesus in times of religious persecution. But, to me, persecution was an abstract concept that only happened outside of my little world. It happened in other places, but not my place. I always thought that standing up for Jesus would mean…deciding not to indulge in gossip or saying no to drugs and being made fun of. I could never have imagined that in my lifetime, no – even worse – in my twenties, I’d see Christians punished by the government for living out their faith.
In the last few months, we’ve seen state and federal law enforcement exalt “gay rights” above religious rights – making Christian business owners choose between living out their faith or living by the law of the land.
Here are a few recent instances of Christian businesses and business owners who have gone out of business, been investigated, or been fined for running their business in a way that aligns with their religion:
– Sweet Cakes By Melissa – This family-owned bakery, run by Christians, just went out of business, all because they declined making a wedding cake for a gay couple. The lesbian couple filed discrimination and the LGBT community boycotted the company and threatened other companies to keep them from doing business with Sweet Cakes. The owner claims LGBT boycotters made threats to her family and children, as well.
– Who can forget the Christian photographers that the New Mexico Supreme Court decided “violated the state’s Human Right’s Act” by not shooting a gay wedding?
– A florist in Washington faced his second lawsuit, in April, for refusing to cater gay weddings.
– Jack Phillips is a baker in Denver who wouldn’t bake a gay wedding cake. He is facing possible jail time.
– A cookie shop in Indianapolis is under a discrimination investigation because they wouldn’t bake rainbow cookies for National Coming Out Day.
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