October 7, 2015
All of us who openly worship God try to avoid doing things in our lives that go against “God’s Law.” However, Christians are flawed human beings like everyone else. If you take a quick look at our lives, you may see behaviors and actions that do not speak well of the way we practice our faith. Hopefully, if we’re mature and have developed any humility, we will tell you that we’re constantly trying to grow spiritually so that our behavior will match our beliefs. After all, we’re supposed to be showing the world what God’s love is all about.
Kentucky Clerk’s Stand Erroneously Implies All or Most Christians Hold Identical Views
Although the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution offers certain protections regarding ‘freedom of religion,’ those rights are not absolute. They cannot be in light of the vast number of faith and belief systems supported by Americans today. Furthermore, all Christians do not agree about how the Holy Scriptures should be interpreted regarding every issue. How can we then demand that the government figure out how to respect our rigid beliefs if so many different Christian denominations support very different stands on same-sex marriage and many other issues?
Past Christians Have Sadly Made Serious Mistakes – Just Recall America’s Civil War
All Christians need to remember that many in our country have fought bitterly against one another about how the Bible should be properly interpreted. A number of these disagreements are documented in the excellent PBS video series “God in America.” In fact, many who fought in our country’s violent Civil War believed that they alone were fighting on “God’s Side” in regards to the issue of slavery. Obviously, one side was clearly wrong. No matter how strongly we personally believe in what we label as a “Christian” or “religious” point of view – surely we don’t have the right to disrupt government activities that benefit others who do not share our views.
The U. S. Supreme Court has the legal right to create governing laws for this country when it issues its rulings. Imagine the utter chaos if all of this country’s religious – and non-religious – government workers decided to disrupt their workplace activities every time a new decision is rendered that they personally believe violates their “religious” beliefs.
The Kentucky Clerk Needs to Make a Choice – Like Everyone in A Workplace with New Rules
No job lasts forever and few Americans make that assumption any more. Furthermore, many of us have left jobs where a new boss or new employee guidelines threatened to compromise our moral beliefs. What the clerk in Kentucky seems to forget is that she is still quite free to exercise her faith in the way she chooses. However, she needs to either honor the new laws or find another job.
The world is constantly changing and we often have to make difficult choices to be true to our deeply held beliefs. Furthermore, no finite human being can claim to have perfect knowledge about an omniscient God. Humility and a job change should be considered here – so that our country can continue to adapt to the new laws. Civil disobedience and bloodshed were wrong within the context of trying to continue slavery and the Civil War. Likewise, polarized thinking is rarely healthy, balanced or loving.
Elizabeth Smith is a freelance writer and graduate of both Fuller Seminary and the University of Texas Law School.
Image courtesy of the Huffington Post