Feb. 23, 2014
I was asked the question, “How I could vote against HB 2453, otherwise known as the Protecting Religious Freedom Regarding Marriage bill?” The answer I gave on the House floor was that my deeply held religious belief is that God is love, and that I could not vote for the bill if I were to heed the words of Christ when He said, “Even as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.”
Jesus called his followers to be servants to all, and He died for a world with which He didn’t see eye to eye. How can we, as followers of Christ, not follow His example to serve? As Adam Hamilton, pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection has said, “Jesus routinely healed, fed and ministered to people whose personal lifestyle He likely disagreed with.” And evangelical pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Ministries finds it “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law.” Bishop Scott Jones of the Great Plains District of the United Methodist Church issued a statement in which he said, “We Kansans helped end slavery and segregation – we do not need to legalize discrimination.”
Christians serve unrepentant murderers through prison ministry. Why, then, can’t they provide a service for two individuals who love each other?
Here are some musings from someone who once served as my pastor at Dighton United Methodist Church:
Been thinking about some of the bills facing state legislatures in various parts of the country recently and wondering. If my deeply held faith asserts that women should wear head-coverings, as a store clerk do I have the right to refuse service to women with uncovered heads? If my deeply held faith asserts that divorce is unacceptable, as a police officer do I have the right not to respond to a threatening situation between two divorced persons? If my deeply held faith asserts that women should not be ordained clergy, do I as a florist have the right to refuse to order palm branches for a church served by a woman? If my deeply held faith asserts that people need to forgive seventy times seven times and I as a doctor know someone who is holding a grudge, do I have the right to turn them away? If my deeply held faith asserts that all families should have one mother and one father, do I as a restaurant owner have the right to refuse service to single parent families? It seems to me that the other side of the “freedom of religion” coin is “freedom from religion.”
Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton