Bill O’Reilly recently stated, “It is open season on Christians.” He’s right, and the bout over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) reveals a trend. Our rights are dwindling. We can’t choose who we serve. Our beliefs, should they conflict with any requests (such as catering gay weddings), are being outlawed.
I say this not from animus toward gay people. I’m perfectly comfortable around them, I’ve always enjoyed working with them, and I proudly defend their freedoms. Would I mind catering a gay event? Nope; happy to do so. Outside of officiating a gay wedding (the term “officiating” is so prophetic for some marriages), no business transaction with gays would bother me in the slightest. Log Cabin (gay) Republicans? They’re heroes, in my book. They’re great patriots.
But for those who are uneasy around gay people, let me share the strongest support you’ve ever heard: Liberals are wrong to scoff at you. Do you hear me? They have no right; you’ve committed no offense. Period. You're not a problem, and there is nothing hateful in your uneasiness. You’re fine.
Pardon the cringe-worthy subject matter, but your anxiety comes not over different shades of skin, tastes in music, or views on fashion. This is no mere clash of cultures. We’re talking about sexual intercourse with one’s own gender in a two-gender species. That’s a big difference from you. Whether chosen or natural, this practice can’t procreate, and body parts designed primarily for one purpose are used for another. You know this. And despite your best efforts, you might struggle to block such images from your mind.
Hence your discomfort.
Finding these images offensive, you endure a culture that condemns your struggle; labeling you a heartless loon. Night and day, you are treated like a racist—which you’ve never been. All this you suffer, and for what? The singular transgression of being uncomfortable. Seriously, that’s your real crime—they can buy cakes and flowers anywhere. No matter how nice you are, no matter how gentle, your failure to celebrate sexual practices you’d rather not envision makes you a societal pariah.
You’re like a hunted animal, especially if you’re a Christian. It’s Open Season.
Let me address my fellow Christians a moment. Let’s talk comfort.
As you know, Jesus didn’t just eat with sinners; He gave His life for them. Moreover, those “sinners” weren’t just gay people, or far worse, wealth redistributionists—those sinners were me. And you. And Mother Theresa. Maybe even Bobby Jindal (who could be planning his first sin this very moment).
Take all the images you block out regarding gay people and multiply them by, oh, say, a million, and you’ll see what God sees in our hearts every moment. You’ll see all our greed. All our selfishness. All our pride. All our non-Bobby-Jindalness. Knowing my own rotten-i-tude, I can’t imagine why Jesus slums about with me, except that perhaps with supreme power and goodness comes exceptionally bad taste (one can only hope).
Whatever the reason, God is there with us each day, and He’s perfectly comfortable.
Why? Because finding comfort in His own holiness, God doesn’t need ours. And it is in His presence—not cozy earthly surroundings—that we also find comfort (II Corinthians 1:3-7). This is how we can be “content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11), and it helps us follow Christ’s example in embracing all people:
Taking Targets Off Yourself…
Remember the Eye of Sauron from “Lord of the Rings?” Whenever Frodo put on the ring, that Eye immediately zeroed in on his location. “I see you!”
Likewise, when Christians seek comfort through avoiding gay people, the Left zeroes in, seeing easy targets. “Oh, you volunteer to help the sick? Why not help AIDS patients? You don’t like gay marriage? We demand you provide services for gay weddings!” Here’s my point: Any discomfort you display around gay people trains the Left’s sights on you. Remove that discomfort, and you blur their vision. Understand, the Left doesn’t care about gays—who can buy cakes and flowers elsewhere—they just hate you. Trust me on this. My comfort around gay people doesn’t please the Left; it frustrates them.
Yes, the temptation to put on that ring of comfort is strong. We think it makes us invisible. We think it hides us from contact with different lifestyles—but the opposite is true. That ring doesn’t hide us. It exposes us. “I see you!” Hoping to avoid a few awkward interactions, we instead focus the all-seeing Eye in our direction. From there, it’s disaster. Dispensing Witch-king wraiths (bloggers, lawyers, media), the evil Sauron (or Soros, as it were) hunts us down, and soon thousands of enemy marauders are thundering our way—all in stunning CGI.
Want to avoid all this? Want to make the Left sweat? That’s easy. Just take the ring off.
…And Putting Targets On The Left.
While the Left fixates on this issue, we might as well take advantage, making them the bad guys. How? By offering fairness and mutual protection where they offer bias. Doing this puts the target where it belongs—squarely on the Left’s back.
Think about it. The Left offers us an enormous advantage, because they only demand protections for one side while offering none for the other side. That’s a huge opening, people. If we fail to capitalize—if we just defend Christian rights against gay rights—this rewards the Left for choosing a side, and they run us over (all in stunning CGI). But what if, rather than pick a favorite, we attack the entire practice of picking favorites—a practice the Left can’t resist? Then what happens? Answer: The Left looks really, really bad.
• For instance, rather than support one choice over another, say, “I support every choice that doesn’t take away someone else’s choice. What do you think?”
Knocked off balance, the Leftist will revert to defending only one side—it’s all the Leftist knows. He’ll say something like, “But by refusing to cater a gay wedding, they’re taking away a choice!”
Don’t get rattled; they just helped you. Calmly respond:
• “If no similar services are available, then withholding service might possibly remove a choice. Feel free to share instances where this happens. Until then, I notice you’re only protecting one side, but I’ll give you a chance to be fair. What protections would you offer the other side?”
Now they’re more rattled, because your balance exposes their bias. In desperation, they might try misdirection: “Well, should Christians be able to refuse service for black people, too?”
• “Changing the subject to black people shows you lack confidence in your central argument, but I’ll address it anyway. Nothing about being black runs contrary to Christian beliefs, which is why Christians led the way in ending slavery. But let’s stay focused, okay? What protections would you offer for Christians?”
Now they’re more rattled because you didn’t take their bait of pitting group against group—and you focused back on their bias. One thing they might say is, “I let Christians operate in the free market, where they have the right to sell things. That doesn’t give them the right to discriminate!”
• “That’s all you offer? Oh, I go much further for both sides. You see, I’m perfectly comfortable around gay people, and I’d have no trouble catering their events. I have big problems, however, with forcing others to hold my view. I don’t use the free market as an excuse to make others live like me…do you?”
These discussions range about, but the more we avoid playing favorites, the better we expose the Left’s favoritism. Here are some more simple statements:
• “Anyone can protect their own. Can you at least try to protect everyone?”
• “Sometimes, people’s choices will conflict in a free society. Rather than use these conflicts for political gain, I’ll protect all choices. I want justice for everyone, not power for me.”
• “Some people just protect whoever agrees with them, but principled leaders look for ways to protect those who disagree with them. I want principle for everyone, not bias for me.”
• Here’s my question for everyone attacking Indiana: “Are they offering ANY protections for religious people and small business owners, or do they only advocate for one side?”
• “Who’s the aggressor here? If a business won’t cater gay weddings, I’ll disagree, since I’m fine with catering gay weddings. But have they sought out people to harm? Of course not. Meanwhile, when activists target Christian businesses with requests to violate their consciences, this is an aggressive act—they’re actually seeking others to harm. I oppose aggression.”
• “Tell me, how can the nation heal when we reward aggressors for playing favorites?”
Let the Hunt Begin!
Eventually, Frodo got the ring to Mount Doom—by not wearing it. Though he faltered, the ring was destroyed, and the Eye of Sauron came crashing down.
We too can win, if we set aside comfort and take the target off ourselves. In so doing, we’ll become the good guys. The Left will be the bad guys. Stubbornly taking sides because they’re addicted to bias, Leftists will fall from favor—the hunters will become the hunted. They’ll be ducking tough questions. They’ll be running through forests. If we refine our strategy, the Left will realize it is truly Open Season…on them.
"Sssshhhhhh…be vewy vewy qwiet…I’m hunting cwaaaaazy Weftists…"
Feel free to come along.