A Word Of Warning To My Fellow Christians About Same-Sex Marriage

supremecourtflag(Credit: Ted Eytan, Flickr Creative Commons)

My wife and I got married in Tennessee a little over 9 years ago. At the time, the state had a ban against same-sex marriage.

3 years ago we moved to Connecticut, a state which has been performing same same-sex marriages since 2008.

In our 3 years of living in Connecticut, the marriage of our gay and lesbian neighbors has had absolutely no affect on our marriage, the state hasn’t forced any religious institution to perform any marriage of any kind, and civilization hasn’t crumbled.

I mean, the food sucks, but in the 7 years since Connecticut lifted its ban on same-sex marriage, the apocalypse has yet to arrive in Connecticut.

As you are already well aware, the Supreme Court ruled last week that state bans against same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, the ruling sparked a tsunami of emotion ranging from jubilation to outright panic. For all the rainbow tinted profile pictures on my Facebook wall and #LoveWins hashtags in my Twitter feed, there were nearly just as many dire warnings from conservative Christian leaders proclaiming an inevitable collapse of civilization now that two people of the same gender can legally marry anywhere in the Union.

Living in Connecticut, where same-sex marriage has been legal for years, I’ve been able to glimpse into the future and like Russell Moore and Mike Huckabee and Albert Mohler and all the rest, I too have a warning for my fellow Christians now that same-sex marriage is legal across the land.

The same thing that’s happened in Connecticut over the past 8 years is very likely coming very soon to a state near you.

Gay and lesbian couples will get married….and it will have zero affect on your own marriage.

The state will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples….and neither your church nor any other religious institution in the state will be forced to marry anyone they don’t want to marry.

Gay and lesbian couples will buy homes, have kids, get involved in their community, and retire….and civilization won’t crumble. In fact, it will be the better for it.

No, polygamy won’t suddenly become a thing (and even if it did, good luck explaining why those people are unbiblical and somehow worse than the man the Bible calls “a man after God’s own heart“) and, no, pedophiles won’t be allowed to marry children because pedophilia and homosexuality are not even remotely the same thing (and if you’ve been told they are, please, for the love of God and neighbor, please find a new, more informed source of information).

Same-sex marriage is coming to your state…and it’s going to be ok.

In fact, you’ll probably barely notice.

But there are couple of other things you probably will notice – or at least I hope you notice – that I feel I should also warn you about.

One day soon, when same-sex marriage is finally known simply as “marriage” in your state, you’ll find yourself taking your kids to soccer practice or running errands around town or eating dinner with your family at your favorite restaurant and you’ll look up and notice that things aren’t any worse – in fact they may be a little better – then they were when same-sex couples weren’t allowed to marry in your state. And in that moment you’ll realize that the Chicken Little church leaders you’re listening to now were lying to you about the dangers of same-sex marriage.  Their cries of God’s impending judgment never came to fruition. The First Amendment wasn’t abolished and your church continued on believing and practicing they way they always had. And civilization kept on trucking the way it has for thousands of years because despite the rhetoric, civilization is not and never was dependent on heterosexual marriage.

I do think some of those Chicken Little church leaders are sincere in their fear, but their intransigent devotion to dogma creates the most un-Christlike of situations in which theology is more important than the people that theology was intended to serve. My fellow Christians, I know you may have strong religious convictions about same-sex marriage, but when the day comes and you see how tragically wrong those Chicken Little church leaders were about the future, I pray you remember that the Greatest Commandment is not “believe these things and never change,” it’s “love.” And then find new spiritual leaders to follow because God knows we’ve got some pretty terrible leaders today.

But even if you stick with them – who knows, maybe they’ll change – I have to warn you that as you come into contact with same-sex couples on a more regular basis, as they become your neighbors (spoiler alert: they already are) and I hope your friends too, you’ll see that their “lifestyle” and even their faith really isn’t any different than your own and you’ll find yourself forced to reexamine your own assumptions about the LGBT community and ask yourself some difficult questions about what it really means to be a Christian and what it really means to love on another.

I know, I’ve been there. I grew up in a super conservative community. I grew up believing that being gay was a choice and that choice was a sin. It wasn’t until I stopped pointing fingers and started listening, until I opened up my eyes to my own inconsistent reading of the Bible, until “those people” became my friends, not token gay people I know, but actual friends I break bread with and share my life, it wasn’t until then that I was forced to reexamine my own own assumptions and ask myself some difficult questions about what I really believed and whether or not I was actually loving my neighbor as myself. The change didn’t happen overnight and looking back I’m embarrassed by how long it did take me to see the light, but change did come and I’m glad it did.

With the Supreme Court’s decision last week, change is coming to our entire country. Change can be scary, terrifying even. And if you live in a state that’s always banned same-sex marriage and you’re not affirming, I get why the warnings of certain Christian leaders can be so worrisome. The unknown is scary and being forced into the unknown is even scarier and when you combine that with an image of God as a wrathful overlord ready to smite at a moments notice you don’t believe just the right things, I totally get why so many of my fellow Christians are worried.

But, my friends, I’ve glimpsed the future and it’s not that scary. I mean, yeah, the food sucks, but the future you’re worried about actually looks a whole heck of a lot like the present.

Ok, fair enough, that might not be all that wonderful.

But I promise, the apocalypse is not nigh.

 

139 Comments
  • CaroleTurner
    June 29, 2015

    Let me tell you, people are losing their frickin’ minds over this. I wrote on my blog yesterday about the crazy day I had Saturday literally fighting this out on Facebook, http://www.carolesmithturner.com/2015/06/love-wins.html

    • tekwrite
      June 29, 2015

      Time magazine already calling to end tax exempt status of churches. WHY?

      • Teddy Bower
        June 29, 2015

        Because churches are most definitely stepping over the line already laid down in tax policy regarding political activities of tax exempt organizations.

  • Justin Mitchell
    June 29, 2015

    I don’t usually make comments like this, but you might want to capitalize “chicken little”, since the word “chicken” can be used as an adjective.
    The first two times I saw it I thought you were implying the pastors were cowardly.

    Feel free to delete this comment.

    • ZackHunt
      June 29, 2015

      Good call. Correction made.

  • Justin Mitchell
    June 29, 2015

    It’s also been legal in Canada for over a decade.

    • Newt Market
      June 29, 2015

      And we’re doing just fine up here, BTW. The CT experience all over again. Looking forward to my daughter’s eventual marriage to her girlfriend, and proud to have matched with both in the local Pride parade, along with my wife.

  • Alise
    June 29, 2015

    Well said. Though I hope that this line “…your church continued on believing and practicing they way they always had” doesn’t hold entirely true. I think we already see that happening, and I pray it will continue to happen.

    • ZackHunt
      June 29, 2015

      Me too. Or me either. Whichever one agrees with you. πŸ™‚

  • KarenM
    June 29, 2015

    No one has said the world is going to end. There are those that simply will not compromise what the bible says, and that is the fact that marriage is between male and female. This of course is predicated upon the fact that you believe the bible. If you don’t, you don’t. And if you choose to pick and choose certain parts then you will continue to do so. I think you are being short sighted however in saying this will have no long lasting effect on society. It will. And it won’t be positive. And we are tired of being called “hate mongers” because of our belief set. You are over exaggerating what conservative Christian leaders are saying. They are simply saying, they believe it’s wrong because the bible says it’s wrong. It does. That admission in itself is enough to get you branded as a “hater.” That is untrue. And finally I will finish with this. Will the mosques in the United States be required to marry same sex couples?

  • Brenda P
    June 29, 2015

    I’ve realized how truly fearful many conservative Christians are, and that makes me so sad. As if God has somehow lost power because of a human governmental decision. As if God is only in control when things go the way we want them to. It’s so sad to realize how much of American Christianity is based on how the world looks instead of having trust in God’s sovereignty regardless of external circumstances. It’s not the end of the world, people. It’s even a good thing! Although I do understand the sincere worries of conservatives, I don’t share those worries. Change is scary, but taking a wait and see attitude can really help get through the transition period.

    • Dennis
      June 30, 2015

      And there it is!!! So many lack fear in God’s judgment. Conservative Christians get it. If you don’t think this country has and will continue to experience the punishment of God for these so called “good” things, you really should read His Word. If you don’t think 9/11 wasn’t a shot across our bow from God, I will pray for you. Its not what the homosexual agenda conservative Christians fear, its God’s judgment.

      • ZackHunt
        June 30, 2015

        No more commenting, Dennis, or I will block you.

        I’m more than willing to tolerate disagreement, even disagreement and even hateful disagreement. But I will not allow my blog to host your repugnant ideas about 9/11.

      • Ryan
        July 2, 2015

        Hey Dennis… get a clue. We aren’t Israel, not even a new Israel. America does not have a covenant with God, no matter how much your homeboy and false prophet Jonathan Cahn taught you in his fictitious novels. By the way, I find it rather strategic of him to categorize his Harbinger and Shemitah books as fiction… that creates a nice, safe place to hide when September comes and goes, nothing of what he said has happened and someone tries to hold him accountable for his far-fetched, scripture-twisting “prophecies”. No, we don’t live within the covenant of Moses, with all of the obedience = blessings and disobedience = cursings that came with it. We live in the covenant Jesus provided… love and forgiveness. So, in 10 years, when everything is about how it is now, will you then concede you might be wrong about God judging nations?

      • coolwifeyjones
        July 3, 2015

        I believe America will be judged the same way Sodom and Gomorrah was. In 2 Peter 2:6 it says and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; It doesn’t get much clearer than that. When God flooded the earth He gave the rainbow as a promise that He would never destroy the earth with water again, but it says here He gave Sodom and Gomorrah as an example! I pray God would spare us judgement, but I believe we have gone too far.

        • Ed Hare
          July 5, 2015

          Coolwifeyjones, I might suggest that you turn to your own religion for your answers. I believe in the Christ that told us clearly that judgment is not for humans, it is for God.

          Do you really presume to speak for God to explain His reasons for Sodom and Gomorrah? Could it have had anything to do with their worship of idols and turning from the instructions that God gave mankind? You really speak for God? Really? How about you speak the part where God said he would not destroy the cities if as few as 10 righteous people were found to reside there. Are there 10 righteous people in your community? Were there 10 righteous people among the thousands who died on 9/11?

          But let me ask, if God were to destroy another building to punish the evildoers, would you celebrate with joy, or feel for those who suffered? Do you celebrate the deaths of those who died on 9/11, or do you join the millions who grieve their loss?

          If you support the biblical concept of marriage, do you support the biblical decree in the same Leviticus that discusses homosexuality that says that if a young wife is found to be not a virgin, and unable to prove that she is if she is accused, that she should be returned to her father and put to death? That is the biblically defined marriage and I have to ask if you have offered the same demands that non-virgin wives be put to death as you are in taking delight that “God” killed all those people on 9/11?

          Is this really the ways you interpret the words of Christ, or is there at least some love in you for all of your fellow humankind?

          • coolwifeyjones
            July 5, 2015

            No, I do not presume to speak for God. I speak using His word, The Bible. About judgement, Christ, Himself, said we are to make a righteous judgement. (Ref. John 7:24) We are to judge the fruits of someone’s life. (Ref. Matthew 7:20)

            Yes, my heart breaks for the events on 9/11! What did I say that made you incorrectly presume that I revel in the deaths that took place at the hands of Islam? I do not, and would not, glory in the tragic loss of lives, but I do not believe God will allow us to continue to mock Him and His Holy Word.

            I follow the commandments of Christ. Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

            This is why I am speaking out, in love, that we might turn back to God and His Word! We cannot expect to sin and disobey God’s Word, and not suffer the consequences of our actions! Yet, God also tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

            Next, the Biblical definition of marriage is given by Christ. Matthew 19:4-5 Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Levitical Law was old covenant, we are in the new covenant, grace.
            1 Corinthians 6:9-11
            Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

            This may sound like a dark passage, but Paul tells us there is a way into Heaven! Jesus Christ who died on the cross, to wash away our sins. I hope and pray that each and every person who reads this would confess that they are a sinner, and believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, crucified, and rose again on the third day! He can still save you, no matter what you may have done! I love you, and God Bless!

        • Tim
          July 8, 2015

          But go back and look at those passages and see what God said S&G were judged for. Hint; it wasn’t homosexuality.

          • coolwifeyjones
            July 9, 2015

            I believe you meant to say, it was not only homosexuality. When the two angels entered in to recieve Lot and his family, the men of the city surrounded Lot’s house demanding the two men (Angels) be given to them so they could have sexual relations with them, but verses such as Ezekiel 16:49-50 and Jude 1:7 tell all the sins of those cities.

            Ezekiel 16:49-50
            Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

            And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

            Jude 1:7
            as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

          • Tim
            July 10, 2015

            Jude’s commentary here differs very significantly from what we find in Ezekiel, which makes no mention of the homosexuality itself as a point of judgement. I would have to do a bit more reasearch to be able to say more than this about the legitimacy of that comment in Jude. However, even if the comment from Jude is legitimate and it did actually “make the list”, it certainly wasn’t the primary thing they were judged for. God doesn’t even mention it in Ezekiel.

      • George Washington, Jr.
        August 22, 2015

        If you think al Qaeda was carrying out “God’s will” on 9/11, you should move to Iraq and join ISIS, because your own religious beliefs line up perfectly with theirs.

  • julie
    June 29, 2015

    I can’t believe that you said that the food sucks in Connecticut.

    • Ray Anselmo
      June 29, 2015

      Well, compared to Tennessee barbecue …

  • Terry
    June 29, 2015

    Great Discussion Zack. I do missions work around the world. In many countries where polygamy is practiced, when a man becomes a believer he is faced with the moral dilemma of putting away some of his wives. Its actually an interesting biblical debate. I am curious of your view of the gospel. Now that same sex marriage is legal in the United States, if a legally married “same sex” couple or individual becomes a born again Christian, does repentance mean they have to get a divorce or does God accept the marriage?

    • Mccoy
      June 29, 2015

      I asked my pastor the exact same question recently. He said we’ll have to wait and meet them to see. Hummm.

    • Regis S
      June 29, 2015

      Depends entirely on the denomination/branch of the faith you ask. For example I’m nearly certain the Catholic Church would suggest an annulment process to invalidate the marriage. However, marriage is a sacrament in Catholicism, so I doubt most of Protestantism that disagrees with same-sex marriage will know what to do with it. Most likely they’ll make them ironically sin by divorcing.

      • tekwrite
        June 29, 2015

        Ah yes the old saw about divorce. Sin is sin.

      • Dennis
        June 30, 2015

        Regis, it doesn’t depend on denomination. It depends on the Word of God. There is no provision from God for annulment. That is a Catholic tradition and secular legal mechanism. But “gay marriage” wouldn’t be a divorce as God wouldn’t recognize it anymore than if someone married his car.

    • Ron Duncan
      June 30, 2015

      It’s an unbiblical marriage, therefore remaining in the relationship itself would be sin. There is no question that Jesus described marriage in Matthew 19 going back to Genesis and saying it was a husband and wife, male and female. He could have used it as a teaching moment – “All you need is love” or “It’s all about two consenting adults.” He did not.

      A repentant sinner will put their spouse away, much like what happened in the book of Ezra (see chapter 10) In other words, the bible wouldn’t recognize the marriage in the first place to see it as adultery when divorce were to occur. (The Jews had broken the law of the Torah by entering into marriages with foreigners which God had told them not to do – it showed a commitment to God to leave those wives – and children behind.)

      I’ve studied the scriptures and the texts on homosexuality for years, researched the new “interpretations” and so forth. I’ve known some homosexuals who are perfectly nice and polite people. But being nice and polite does not make you saved. Repentance from sin through Jesus does. The bible leaves no room. Some of the new interpretations just aren’t viable when looking at the context. That Paul when writing his first letter to the Corinthians referred back to the Leviticus using the LXX is without question.

      Even liberal scholars, many who are Gay or Lesbian have agreed that the bible’s plain reading is absolutely clear on it’s teaching that it condemns homosexuality. Here is a list of nearly a dozen in their own words

      http://barbwire.com/2014/04/29/liberal-scholars-homosexuality/

      I’m not going to trade God’s word for “experience.” That’s not sound doctrine. That’s the ear tickling as found in 2nd Timothy 4.

      Does Jesus love homosexuals?
      Absolutely.

      Are we called to love our neighbor?
      Yes.

      Does this mean sharing the Gospel and focusing on the transforming love of Jesus?
      Without a doubt.

      Is making somebody feel good about their sin loving?
      No, scripture says this –

      Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)

      And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

      Jesus didn’t say to the woman caught in adultery “It’s okay, go and sin again.” He said, “Neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more.”

      That’s freedom, that’s liberty, that’s real love.

  • Radu Tenenbaum
    June 29, 2015

    Try New Haven pizza and you’ll find that Connecticut food does not suck. And regarding those who believe homosexuality is a choice, ask them to describe the moment when they decided to be heterosexual.

    • ZackHunt
      June 29, 2015

      I have and I’m willing to concede that it is very good and I’ll even concede that good food can found in New Haven (specifically the Yale food trucks). But with few exceptions the food in Connecticut is incredibly bland and no one seems to realize it and it just makes me sad. πŸ™

  • Rizzy
    June 29, 2015

    While I do agree that there are some overly hysterical people going on about this issue, this post seems to read like a Christian on Xanax. Which is weird because Zack, your blog gives me a reason to read blogs. If we truly believed that the end game is social harmony, think again. Those who are justly concerned about laws that redefine marriage and those like it know exactly what the end game is. They know the end game is built on little victories like these. They also know those who think nothing of consequence happened will wake up some day in the future and try to decipher exactly when their world changed. Unfortunately, they’ll struggle to pinpoint that date because there is no static date, but a series of unfortunate events that designed their current reality. Most assuredly, those who profess themselves to be Christians should know that we do not battle with flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high places. Maybe if we stop trying to either focus on how it will affect us personally, or advise people how it will not affect them personally and look at world events happening through a spiritual lens on a macro level, we might get a sense of the what’s truly happening and actually have a real (prophetic) glimpse of the future.

    If Christ has taught us anything, His life and actions played a higher more spiritual role, higher than anyone of His day could comprehend and wrap their head around. I’m sure someone(s) must have had the same catatonic reaction, oh, how does it really affect me that they whipped His back, or pierced His side, or crucified Him? Turns out, it was a pretty big deal. Do I dare compare the legalization of gay marriage to the crucifixion? Nah, however, spiritual good and bad is constantly playing itself out on the human level day in and day out. To not give credence to some of the more obvious evidences would be naive at best. A biblical institution has been “legally” redefined. Titus admonishes us to correct anyone who distorts the gospel.

  • tekwrite
    June 29, 2015

    No just persecution of Christians for their beliefs. Already being sued for not baking cakes and photographing gay “weddings”. Coming to a town near you..pastors will be arrested for “hate speech”. It has already happened in the UK. So you can take your opinion how it will have zero “effect” (not “affect as is written) and …oooh it all about LOVE and being like everyone else and singing koombayah around the campfire. NOT. It is a battle to eradicate Christianity. But I am betting on my God who loves but who ALSO judges sin.

    • Ray Anselmo
      June 29, 2015

      Your god is too small.

    • Gamer
      June 29, 2015

      Pastors in Canada have gone through the same thing. You can even be tried for hate crimes for merely voicing your disapproval of gay marriage. And what happens when my grandchildren are forced to learn about oral and anal sex and the virtues of same-sex relationships in sex ed class? This is already being imposed in Virginia. I’ve even heard people propose that those that disagree with the ruling should be unfriended from Facebook! That is not tolerance, that’s hate! This was not about being equal, it was about being superior! Every past civilization that embraced homosexuality crumbled and is no more. It will happen again. And not just because of this, it is just one part of a way of thinking that leads to more and more depraved behavior. The SCOTUS ruling didn’t grant equality, it destroyed states’ rights. It opened the door to the federal government taking even more control over all of us. It set a precedence for the courts to redefine any and every law to “mean” whatever they decide it means at the time. And you will have no defense when they come after you for breaking those laws.

      • KareninCA714
        June 30, 2015

        You do realize that heterosexuals engage in oral and anal sex, right? Your grandchildren will learn more about sex acts from the television than they will from a sex education class. The Netherlands have had marriage equality for 14 years now. I’m pretty sure they haven’t crumbled. If you’re referring to the Roman Empire, you may want to sign up for an ancient history class at your local community college and learn the real reasons for the fall of Rome. Do you feel the Loving v Virginia case “destroyed states rights?” If not, why not? SCOTUS did not change or redefine any laws. It struck down unconstitutional laws, which is exactly what it was set up to do.

        • Liz Preston
          July 1, 2015

          No sense in arguing with Gamer, who clearly lives in a cave and has zero compassion for those that are different than them. I do applaud your response, it was great.

        • 02Dave12345
          July 1, 2015

          According to the CDC, 40% of heterosexuals have engaged in anal sex. Considering the fact that plenty of gay men don’t like it and considering lesbians, the statistics are probably about equal.

      • Bill Wilson
        June 30, 2015

        Every past civilization that didn’t embrace homosexuality crumbled as well. It’s called history.

        As far as pastors being arrested for stating their opinions, this isn’t the UK or Canada. Those nations have always had stricter government control of their people than the US. These claims are as unfounded as the “Obama’s gonna take our guns” arguments. Ditto with your fears of Big Brother. 20 years from now you will still be free to believe whatever paranoid fantasy pleases you.

        Finally, if you equate being defriended on Facebook with persecution, then you have no sense of what the term means.

        • Dottoressa
          July 1, 2015

          Most people are also not aware of the fact that there is no separation of church and state in the UK and Canada. They have an official state religion, called “the Church of England.” They also have very different laws defining what is and is not acceptable as free / protected speech, and those laws as Bill Wilson has pointed out, are much stricter than those on the books in the US.

        • Shorny
          July 1, 2015

          Honestly – some of these religionists are so gormless.

        • 02Dave12345
          July 1, 2015

          These Christians want to eliminate the very laws that protect them, that’s what all of these state constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage were about, no respect for the separation of church and state.

      • Dottoressa
        July 1, 2015

        The laws in Canada on free speech vs hate speech, and on libel, slander, and the like are different than the laws in the US – they also do not have an explicit separation of church and state. See http://www.religioustolerance.org/sep_cs_can.htm for details on some of the differences in free speech and religious freedoms between the US and Canada.

      • Barbara
        July 1, 2015

        I live in Canada and no pastors who I know, or know about, have been arrested for voicing disapproval of inclusive and equal marriage. What has happened is – I’ve met some beautiful Christian couples who live the Gospel, who married, and who happen to be the same gender. They don’t go around promoting hatred of others, but do tend to pray for their enemies as Jesus taught. They also don’t go about spreading lies and fear of others. If the US crumbles, it won’t be because of equal rights for all people, but for other reasons that are hidden under the spreading cloak of hate and lies.

      • Colin Andrew Moore
        July 2, 2015

        As one example, ancient Greece, which had homosexual rituals, arranged marriages with children, and believed that gay love in the military boosted morale, founded modern democracy, upon which we modeled our country’s government. Greece’s sexual mores were very different from ours today, but that civilization lasted thousands of years and included centuries of peace, progress, prosperity and enlightenment. Sure they eventually fell like all empires do, but it wasn’t because of their tolerance of gay people or gay relations.

        What will happen because of last Friday’s SC decision is that it will become harder for homophobes to use derogatory remarks about gay people n polite society. Hopefully, event planners and photographers and bakers, who insist on believing gay people are sick perverts subverting the definition of marriage out of some selfish choice, will get out of the wedding business altogether. Pubic employees who take a vow to the constitution will have to carry out their duties in issuing marriage licenses or find another bureaucratic government position that doesn’t carry such an obligation. Preachers will continue to preach hate in their places of worship, but it will be increasingly obvious that that’s all they’re doing, and hopefully people will leave and join inclusive denominations. This will be the new normal. A change to be sure, but hardly the end of the world.

      • KathleenVS
        July 2, 2015

        Put your tin foil hat away and go sign your grandchildren up for Bristol’s abstinence only online sex education classes. What’s your plan if one of your grandchildren is gay?

      • Kaityan
        July 5, 2015

        Oh my! You mean the gov will make me have oral and anal sex? What imaginary world are you living in? You need a little cruise in a whale to set you straight.

    • KareninCA714
      June 30, 2015

      The people that were sued violated the laws of their state which specifically designated gender as a protected class, along with non-whites, women, etc. There’s a pastor in Arkansas who is calling for people to kill homosexuals and any pastor who marries them. He’s not been arrested and never will be. The KKK is planning a march in SC this weekend. None of them are being arrested. In case you haven’t noticed, we are not the UK or Canada.

      The only people who are contributing to the fall of Christianity are Christians themselves who are driving people away in droves. Maybe if you started acting Christ-like instead of like hateful bigots, you could reverse that trend.

      • Bill Wilson
        June 30, 2015

        Bravo!!!!!!!!

      • Jimmy Doe
        July 1, 2015

        “There’s a pastor in Arkansas who is calling for people to kill homosexuals and any pastor who marries them.”

        Actually, if someone does commit murder because he says so, he can and very well will be prosecuted for inciting it. Which is a damned good thing.

    • Henry
      July 1, 2015

      Oh no, Christians can no longer be bigots in public! Whatever shall you do with your free time while not oppressing those who don’t share your beliefs? Welcome to the 21st century.

      The world would be better off if all religions simply ceased to exist.

    • Shorny
      July 1, 2015

      You are exactly the person this article is aimed at. And no christian pastors/clerics have been arrested for hate speech in the UK. (Who fed you that nonsense and why did you swallow it?) It’s not just Christianity that is losing followers – people are waking up to the fact that intolerance is a major factor in many religions. Religion is working itself into losing humanity. Never mind, you can have a deep discussion with your God – one of thousands by the way – when you take the next step.

    • Misty Corrales
      July 1, 2015

      if you want to be in business, you cannot discriminate. You don’t get to call yourself persecuted because YOU are no longer allowed to persecute others. That’s not what persecution is.

      Christians who live in the Middle East are persecuted. You’re not.

      And pastors who are out there saying “kill the gays” or “stone the gays”? Guess what they are doing…. hate speech.

      • Ed Hare
        July 5, 2015

        Misty, I could even live with the balance of a person in business not having to personally attend a ceremony that they do not wish to attend, so the photographer and caterer can be off the hook. But baking a flippin’ cake? The religious right are worried about a flippin’ cake? Really?

        • Dymaxionpz
          July 6, 2015

          Religious right or no, I believe the concern is about free association. Is it a legitimate use of govt force to compel a business to provide goods/services to those it doesn’t want to serve?

    • leliorisen
      July 1, 2015

      In 29 states a gay person could marry and, the next day, be fired, or evicted, or denied purchasing a new home. Why? Simply because they are gay. You are worried about persecution? How do you think it feels to be able to be fired for no reason at all outside of the fact that somebody just found out you’re gay and hates gays…and you have no recourse. I am sorry, but YOU are not the victim here. YOU are not the one facing persecution.

      You know the scary thing, for years, people used the same excuse to deny interracial marriage. The Bible was also selectively quoted to justify slavery. And refuse blacks and women the right to vote

      So spare me the piety.

      • Ed Hare
        July 5, 2015

        Leliorisen, are you not paying attention? Losing one’s job, being denied a home and being subjected to personal hatred is NOTHING compared to being in business and being forced to bake a cake. I mean, it’s a cake, more important to some than the very real lives of people just trying to be themselves. Cake is more important to God than lives… in some minds, anyway. πŸ™‚

    • AlisonK
      July 1, 2015

      You’re God?? So it seems you think its ok to create the God that conforms to your beliefs and to pick and choose the parts of the Bible to justify your discriminatory attitude?

    • KathleenVS
      July 2, 2015

      As lunch counter owners found out, there is a difference between being a church and doing business with the public. The same “christian” arguments were used to defend slavery, the oppression of women, and segregation (among other things). You can choose to keep gay people out of your church, but not out of your business.

    • George Washington, Jr.
      August 22, 2015

      Interesting that you brought up the UK. They have an official state religion over there, the Church of England. So it’s expected that pastors there will have to conduct same-sex weddings, since those weddings are legal, and one government agency (the church) can’t ignore what another government agency (the courts) has allowed.

      This will never happen in the US because we have separation of church and state over here. I know you don’t like that and would prefer that your denomination be declared the official church of America, but that separation protects you as well as the rest of us. So be careful what you wish for.

  • Laurie
    June 29, 2015

    Nothing happens?! SCOTUS makes a landmark decision, people parade, celebrate and nothing happens? Change is so benign that nothing happens. I,wish all change was so subtle and ineffective,especially in the other things that Christian call sin. One of the reasons for a moral code, and societal rules is because without them, someone does get hurt. Maybe nothing happens right away. Perhaps not obvious to anyone else,because that’s how change also happens. I will be loving to the neighbors who are married of any gender. SCOTUS, does not decide my moral compass or lack thereof.
    There is a law called sensitive dependence on initial conditions. I think it’s mostly used in math,science, weather predictions, and misused in real life. Little changes lead to big things is a misguided interpretation of it. Minute changes, the .0001 change leads to differences. Every thing we do is important. Every thing. Ordering events is different than stating their impact.
    Nothing may happen today due to the SCOTUS ruling. Or tomorrow. Or in my lifetime. But, something will happen. It is a scientific fact. Change has results. I will no longer feel as free to talk about my religious beliefs. You might disagree, and think I am not loving. This is my choice. Quiet Silent Christian. Lukewarm. But you will hear me say I love you. So you’re right. Nothing will happen. yet….

    • Patrick
      June 29, 2015

      Laurie, the parades were already scheduled, so no, the timing of the ruling was entirely coincidental. Not even teh fearsome majical gayz can get permits THAT fast!!!

      • Laurie
        June 29, 2015

        Parade was used in the context of celebrating, such as one might say ,”He paraded around the hood all night long.” It did not mean an official permit sanctioned parade. I will say, “love you” to one and all, and mean it as sincerely as possible as in the past. According to Zack, nothing has happened or will. Patience grasshopper, patience. Nothing has happened. Yet.

    • KareninCA714
      June 30, 2015

      You know what’s going to happen? People will realize that gays marrying didn’t destroy marriage, the country, or affect them in anyway and the world will become that much less hateful.
      If you don’t feel free to talk about your religious beliefs, that’s on you. BTW, you just did on a public forum so I guess you’re just as free as you were last week.

  • Marshall Sutton
    June 29, 2015

    This is a fine post, Zack, but what I need from someone is a place to discuss how those of us who affirm and are excited about Friday’s ruling but find ourselves in decidedly non-affirming contexts are to comport ourselves. My joy Friday was almost immediately tarnished by dwelling on the unpleasantness I expected Sunday morning, and that’s an awful place to be in. It was much like going to prayer meeting the Wednesday night after election day 2012.

    • Alyssa
      July 1, 2015

      IMHO—it’s time to find a new flock. There are lots of Christian churches that are open an affirming of all types of families. If you find you cannot vote for who you want, or be pro family (ALL families) with your other churchgoing friends—-it might be time to find a new church.

      • Marshall Sutton
        July 2, 2015

        I appreciate that sentiment, but not everyone lives in a place where congregations are diverse enough for that to be feasible.

        • Rev. Amy Shaw
          July 6, 2015

          Look for a UU or UCC Congregation- all UU and most UCC are Welcoming Congregations.

  • billy hudson
    June 29, 2015

    Doe’s anyone ever give thought about what God said in his Word and what it is doing to our country.i Love them but i will never give into such doings it’s not right and that’s a fact.I pray one day before it’s to late they turn their hearts to the Lord as for them that go along with what their doing.we live in a world where what use to be right is wrong and we all will have to stand before the judge in the end.God Bless and God Help

    • Steve Lizardi
      June 30, 2015

      Let me remind you about Matthew 22:38-39: This is the great and foremost commandment. 39″The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40″On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

  • Ben Sutherland
    June 29, 2015

    I’ll bookmark this and reply in exactly one year’s time (if the comments section is still open). We’ll see if your predictions are correct.

  • Alisa
    June 29, 2015

    I find it very funny mr. Hunt, that right after reading your opinion on the subject and right after all your rather ignorant little assurances, the very next article I saw, was millionaire gay couple is suing church/pastor who refused to marry them. Now, I agree that our world is not about to implode, society as a whole is not going to cease to exist, and that we are called to love All people, and that figuring out how to do that is going to be difficult for many Christians, but, the fact is, that as for legally, our votes as citizens of these United States HAS just been ignored and the will of others forced on those who did not want it. Last time I checked, that’s called tyranny, not democracy. You said so yourself, that ” the unknown is scary, and bring FORCED into the unknown is even scarier…” No of coarse there will not be some instant apocalypse, but that does not mean that the judgement of a pure and holy and righteous God, is NOT coming. He is also a patient, and faithful, and merciful God to those who serve him. No, life will not simply continue as normal or even get better, most likely our society will be affected slowly, but it will be affected Toward moral decay. This is the first time “America” as a country, has pitted herself openly against God Almighty, by passing a law which forces us to accept another’s sinful (private) affairs as acceptable. Now, our government was never set up to be our moral compass, they were set up for limited government for and by the people, which in this case they have superseded their authority. But we as Christians ARE called to be the moral compass of our nation and we are called both to love others and to say this is wrong.
    And, by the way, the greatest commandment is Not to “love”. It is to love the LORD YOUR GOD (FIRST)and then, to love your neighbor as your self. It sounds like you’ve gotten the part about loving your neighbor down pretty well, and good for you in that respect, But it also sounds as if you have forgotten the first most vital part of this greatest commandment, to love the Lord Your God! Shame on you for that.

    • Dan from Georgia
      June 30, 2015

      No, this is NOT the first time ‘Murica has pitted itself against God. Do you remember slavery? Do you remember laws, LAWS I say, that kepts blacks and women as second-class citizens? What about Canada and other nations in western Europe where Gay marriage has been legal for some time? Why hasn’t God destroyed them? Shame on YOU for having such a short-sighted view of history!

    • JPeckJr
      June 30, 2015

      You did notice that the millionaire couple and their lawsuit are in the United Kingdom, not the United States, and is against the official established church of the United Kingdom, which is the Church of England. So I can’t see how this lawsuit is relevant to anything in the United States. You do know these are two different countries, don’t you?

      • Ron Duncan
        June 30, 2015

        Yes, they are in the United Kingdom – but there are excellent reasons to compare them.

        First, the UK is part of western civilization, not a 3rd world country.

        Second, the basic establishment of our laws is based off of theirs, which essentially goes back to Magna Carta.

        Third, an action against a church is still an action against a church. Countries aside we are all still human beings, and there is still an infringement on the freedom of religion. While we may have a “separation of church and state” (that doesn’t really reflect Jefferson’s intent in the Danbury letter, given their concerns addressed to him), that separation is often ambiguous and narrowly defined.

        After all, Jefferson noted in the same letter the rights of conscience and yet we are often not allowed to act out on our conscience – take the reasoning given by the courts about Arlene’s Flowers in Washington state.

        From http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/20/living/stutzman-florist-gay/

        “The decision against Stutzman sets a dreadful precedent against our first freedom in the Bill of Rights: religious liberty. The court says that she is free to believe what she wants, but not to practice her religious beliefs. The court has ruled that if she wants to run a business in the state of Washington, she must defy her conscience and participate in same-sex weddings. If she does not, then the full coercive power of the state — as well as civil liability — will be brought against her.”

        It’s a far cry from the freedom of conscience Thomas Jefferson wrote about.

        Are lawsuits against those of faith (whether it be a church or individual) relevant?

        Should I even have to ask?

        • Bill Wilson
          June 30, 2015

          Our laws are established on the US Constitution, which specifically protects religious speech. As far as the Stutzman case is concerned, that is a different matter altogether from allowing gays to marry. Sorry, but your fears of big Brother taking away your right to intolerance are without merit.

          • Ron Duncan
            June 30, 2015

            It’s not the right to “intolerance”, it’s not even the right to discrimination. It’s the right to discretion to abstain from being a participant of something one finds to be immoral.

          • Bill Wilson
            July 1, 2015

            Of course it’s intolerance. No one is forcing these people to think or act a certain way. The court simply said that they cannot dictate how others should behave. You’re welcome to be as racist or as homophobic as you like. But you’re not free to turn those prejudices into public policy.

          • Ron Duncan
            July 1, 2015

            Only if you’re abandoning critical thinking. In a libertarian free market, you can contract, or not contract with whomever you please. The US constitution doesn’t just protect religious speech specifically, nor just it just protect religious belief specifically.

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

            It’s the free exercise thereof that’s an issue, isn’t it? Abstaining from different kind of things is something most religious have as a part of their practices. This is why I support baker, photographer, florist, caterer, etc.

            This concept alone should throw out lawsuits on their ear to begin with because honestly, no burden is placed on a homosexual couple wanting to marry when there are businesses who are more than willing to provide the services that they are requesting. In some states, the businesses I mentioned aren’t even considered public accommodations, in other states not so much.

            When Elaine photography in New Mexico was sued, even many homosexuals were outraged. The civil ones reasoned that it was not about justice, that it was about revenge. They also reasoned that it was difficult enough to make headway into getting acceptance without creating chaos for themselves. They stated that they would only want people hired that actually wanted to be there.

            I believe that the same applies to any business.

    • KareninCA714
      June 30, 2015

      No, you are not the “moral compass” of the nation. As far as I can tell, Christians like you have no morals. I do not believe in your god or your book of fairy tales.

    • MilitantPacifist
      July 2, 2015

      Did you know that thousands of so-called Christians felt the same way after Loving v. Virginia made interracial marriage ok? They found their reasoning in the same book you do. The thing is, that book can be twisted to suit whatever purpose you want it to. Thankfully, in the U.S., it doesn’t matter, because we base our rules on the law and not on religious books. But it does matter to you. I would suggest that if you need to worry about other people’s love lives, you rail against divorce, because believe it or not, your book says nothing about Jesus hating homosexuality (no Leviticus does not count – it’s the old law Jesus was sent to replace, remember?), but he HATED the idea of divorce.

  • Philip Mills
    June 29, 2015

    It saddens me to see Christians fight and rage against the expansion of peoples rights. Jesus gave up ALL his rights and died for us. We should be fighting, to our own detriment, for the rights of the oppressed and marginalized.
    We gave up any say on marriage when we allowed the state to get involved. The state can and should give the rights it affords to committed couples to whoever it wants. We didn’t lose a single right. Even if we did, we should be supporting this. Each church can continue to struggle as a community to define what they see as a Christian marriage. This is about a legal situation that comes with rights that all committed couples should have.
    How is it loving to fight to keep a rights from people? How is it loving to continue to oppress a group?
    Even if we have to lose so others can have those rights, perfect. Sound just like something Christ would do.

    • Dennis
      June 30, 2015

      Christ died for our sins, not for the rights of people. No where in the Bible does God give us rights to the happiness of this world. We exist for his glorification, not our happiness. We can find our joy and peace in Him. He gives us freedom from sin, not freedom to circumvent His righteousness. Christians should fight against these immoralities, not publically, but on our knees in prayer. And it is ridiculous to suggest that gay people are oppressed in this country. They are mostly affluent. And gays are heralded in the media and within social elite circles.

      • Philip Mills
        June 30, 2015

        I agree that if people feel that they communities are moving in a direction that will ultimately cause harm then yes pray is vital.
        There are however many who have been and will continue to fight publicly against the right to marry. This is not a religious statement made by the state but a legal one the gives people rights. If we are fighting to keep rights from people (be it same sex marriage, imprint populations, religious groups, etch) we are fighting FOR oppression. That’s not Christ like. In many states a gay person is not protected against work place discrimination. That’s oppressive.
        I agree there is no guarantee of happiness in this life or guarantee for rights. The problem as I see it, is that we are fighting for our continued happiness and the maintenance of our rights at the detriment of others. If we accepted that we are here to serve not control we wouldn’t be fighting for our rights but giving over our rights to those that don’t have rights, using our power to love and support the least of these.
        Instead we fight to keep things just as they are.

        • Dennis
          June 30, 2015

          There are some so-called Christians that hate homosexuals and yes, they would like to suppress their rights. But true Christians love them and hate their sin. For the real Christian, its not a question of oppression, but how does God honor a country that continues to deteriorate its moral base and standards. As we saw with Israel throughout the Bible (Judges to Chronicles), when they honored Him and his moral standards, they thrived. When they turned from Him (as this country has and continues to do), they were punished. As long as we continue to celebrate people like Bruce Jenner and normalize homosexuality and fornication, God will continue to remove His protection from us. Its not surprise that when we were a Christian nation, we became the greatest country in the history of the world. And now, there should be no surprise we have a government that is corrupt in all 3 branches and a society that is normalizing sin. We are getting what we deserve. And its only going to get worse.

          • Philip Mills
            June 30, 2015

            I think one of the biggest problems is that to many are first citizens of the state and second citizens of the Kingdom. To often the arguments and push is to maintain the state and not bring into further realization the kingdom. The state doesn’t work from a place of love and grace, when we fight to maintain the systems that hurt, oppression and marginalize we are choosing the state over the kingdom.
            Is this new law more loving? Does it show love to our neighbour? Does it show love to the enemy of some? Seems Christ like.

          • Dennis
            June 30, 2015

            Jesus would never approve of this new law legislated created from the bench. Remember, every time, he healed or counseled someone, he told them to “go and sin no more”. John the Baptist was very vocal about sin. He publicly condemned Cesar. And Jesus affirmed him as having the greatest spirit of any human who has ever lived. Yes, this new law is more loving from an earthly perspective, but from a kingdom perspective, we are to declare the truth. And normalizing sin is not God’s truth.

  • Ron Duncan
    June 30, 2015

    I wonder if Mr Hunt would like to assuage Elaine Photography in New Mexico, or Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, or perhaps Arlene’s Florist in Washington state. I’m certain that their experiences with homosexuals are radically different than yours.

    It’s not like Canada is a third world country that’s completely different than ours.

    http://culturecampaign.blogspot.com/2007/12/pastor-found-guilty-of-hate-crime.html

    Eventually the courts got it right through the appeals process, but should Christians even have to fear speaking out in the first place in order to avoid arrest?

    http://culturecampaign.blogspot.com/ has many instances

    Persecution, I’m afraid, will only increase as a whole here. But perhaps it’s a good thing as it can help to weed out who is genuine in their faith and who has just been tagging along for whatever reason.

    • Dennis
      June 30, 2015

      If I am persecuted for my Biblical view on homosexuality, I will rejoice in Jesus. John 15:18, Luke 6:22

    • Philip Mills
      June 30, 2015

      Those situations arose out of people putting themselves before others. Putting their ideology above people and the teachings of Christ. Jesus teaches in Matthew if you are compelled to carry a pack 1 mile we should carry it 2, not rebel against the idea of supporting the military and local oppressor.
      The loving response would be to bake two cakes, not fight for our own right to do as we please. The problem with much of this debate is an internal focus on what it does to us and what we don’t want to do rather than putting others first. Rather than treating people how we would like to be treated.
      The problem lies with how we as Christians live out our faith far more than it does with the community of people we live with. Jesus never called us to be moral and ethical gate keeps, just to love people and share his teachings, which incidentally start and end with other centred love.

      • Dennis
        June 30, 2015

        You are wrong that the cake makers put “their” ideologies above doing Christ’s work. Their choice not to participate in a celebration of sin is not “their” ideology but God’s standards given to us through his Word. (Genesis 19:1–13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1
        Corinthians 6:9; Jude 1:7). We are called to separate ourselves from sin (1 Thessalonians 4:3–8). As Christian, we are to proclaim the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) The truth is the cake makers, pastors, and all others that are persecuted for keep Jesus’ moral standards should rejoice in Him. When that happens, they can be assured they are correct in their “ideals”. (Luke 6:22).

        • Philip Mills
          June 30, 2015

          I suppose I’m at a loss then. The Roman empire was horrific and brutal. To wilfully choose to support the work of a brutal dictator ship seems oddly complicit in their sin. Why does Jesus not instruct his followers to adhere to God’s standards and endure the persecution that comes with rebellion against the empire? And how does Jesus separate himself from sin when he eats and has fellowship with the people he does? Does his example show us that the way we separate from sin is by not associating and not serving? I don’t think so. I think if Jesus were the cake shop owner he’d not only make two cakes but probably give them for free. Because he’d worry more about loving his neighbour then some silly attempt at remaining holy.
          To me what I see in these examples are a choice to fight for our rights rather than choose to love our neighbour. We’re it the other way round I feel many Christians would be outraged at the discrimination. If a Christian went to a cake shop and was refused service because they were a Christian, there would be no end to the cries of oppression and persecution. But when we are the ones choosing to oppress and discriminate, we pain ourselves somehow as the victim.
          The choice may be biblical, but so is slavery and execution. The choice however seems decidedly un-Christ like, which is our standard as a Christian.

          • Dennis
            June 30, 2015

            We are to separate ourselves from sin, not the sinner. When we endorse sin, we are joining in earthy society and not furthering God’s kingdom. John the Baptist is our best example. He was VERY vocal in his condemnation of sin. Jesus affirmed him as having the greatest spirit of anyone in history. Yes, Jesus did eat with sinners, but do you not think He was counseling them on the kingdom and what they must do to be a part of it? There is much in the NT to read than just he ate with them. You must separate what you think love is and understand what Christ says love truly is. You can say good for these people and see, we love you. We accept your lifestyle. Or you can truly love them and say, “I don’t want you to continue in this lifestyle because of your eternal destination if you do continue in sin.” The latter is real love Jesus teaches us.

        • notmike64
          July 1, 2015

          who cares what you think ? lol

      • Ron Duncan
        June 30, 2015

        Ephesians 5:11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

        When Jesus spoke in the book of Matthew, from turning the other cheek to giving the cloak and tunic, etc – none of those actions were acts that were immoral to do. There is more reason to believe that Jesus would have exposed the sin, just as he went after the Scribes, or the Pharisees and called them whitewashed tombs, and a brood of vipers. They were engaged in “righteousness” as it were, but it was that which is self serving.

        In a manner of speaking, they were also the keepers of the “law.” They were the oppressors of the people. Not living in a theocracy, the keepers of the law for us are the courts. The oppressed are the believers who wish to honor God with their lives. Undue burdens put on the oppressors were things that Jesus spoke against.

        That’s just one way of looking at it, but it does draw an interesting parallel.

        • Philip Mills
          June 30, 2015

          I’ll preface this with I may be misinterpreting what your saying. If so I’m very sorry to misrepresent your thoughts.

          I think Christians tread to a dangerous area when they view themselves as the oppressed, especially in the west. Nothing changed in ones expression of religious freedoms. All the rights that were there last week are still there for Christians. Nor do the current laws really do anything to oppress loving our neighbours, enemies and teaching all that Jesus did, which is the call of a Christ follower.

          There is a good argument to see Christ fighting against oppression, one I personally agree with and see in him. My concern is that in this situation is feels like the church is fighting for oppression and thus in stark contrast to Christ.

          I’d argue there is a huge difference between selling a cake and affirming a marriage. I suspect most of those you listed above don’t check into the lives of the people they are “supporting” in their other sales. Would they not bake a cake for an atheist, or a Muslim, or two people currently living together but not married because to do so would be to celebrate in their sin? If that same couple came in and bought some cup cakes then used those to celebrate an anniversary would it be held against the cake shop owner for not doing enough research on every person they sell to because the sale of their goods can be used to “support”?

          Christian are afforded a great deal of religious freedom. Fighting for the right to discriminate sounds like a great way to continue to oppress.

          I think we both agree that Christ would fight for the rights of the oppressed and against the oppressor. Just so happens in this case the oppressors seem to be Christians.

          • Ron Duncan
            June 30, 2015

            So let me be straight with you. Before I give you my reply, I want to get a clear definition of “oppression” out of the way.

            to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power:

            While it may not be cruel per se to ask a person to violate their faith in how they go about their own lives when practicing business, I do consider it to be unjust. Since the government puts a burden on Christians who are bakers, photographers, florists, etc, by imposing fines and such, I believe that it fulfills the definition, regardless of how “burdensome” you believe it to be.

            When Barronelle Stutzman’s case as a florist was brought to court, she was essentially told she was allowed to believe what she wanted, but she wasn’t free to exercise that belief, which I find unconscionable. It’s ironic that in the same letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in reply to the Danbury baptists about the government staying out the the church’s affairs – stating the separation of church and state, he also stated that the freedom of conscience was a natural right.

            Thus, I do not believe bible believing Christians who wish to operate their businesses are calling for the right to discriminate. I do not support discrimination. I do however support discretion – that is the right to choose how to behave given a particular situation.

            Are you aware that with the case with Stutzman, she referred the client to 3 different florists, one of which was chosen and the flowers were provided for the gay marriage? Can you honestly tell me that an unwillingness to photograph, bake a wedding cake for, or provide flowers for is truly burdensome on a same sex couple when so many other businesses are more than willing to provide the same services?
            How can any business here be in the act of oppression when all they are asking to do is to abstain from participating in something they morally cannot support?

            That’s the difference.

            “I’d argue there is a huge difference between selling a cake and affirming a marriage.”

            I absolutely disagree, especially when it comes to a wedding. When anything goes wrong for a wedding ceremony, the cake didn’t turn out right, the photographs were blurry, the flowers wilted too soon, it rained and it was an outdoor wedding, the minister was late, there were more guests than expected and not enough food, and so forth – any number of these can lead a stressed bride or groom to claim that the wedding is ruined – but at the very minimum, they will feel it detracted from the wedding.

            For the bride and groom, every element contributes to their ceremony, celebrates their union. Even the audience is there to participate as witnesses. The typical script heard, “Ladies and gentleman, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of…”

            More than that, the wedding cake is not something one can just go and pick off the shelf. It is a specific request, custom made, time intensive product that requires the skills and talent of somebody who is experienced. In a sense, it is a custom piece of art to get done exactly to specification. And it’s something generally delivered by the shop who made the cake, not something to be picked up after it’s done.

            All of these give the appearance by the baker that they affirm and support the wedding. The same arguments can more or less be made for the florist and the photographer as well.

            1st Thessalonians 5:22
            22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

            As far as the rest goes atheist, muslim, people buying off the shelf – that’s all a strawman fallacy. They are all buying products off the shelf which do not hold the same significance as a wedding cake.

            Moreso, the baker doesn’t know that said product is going to be used for immoral purposes. That’s why it’s different. To sell to people for general purposes, off the shelf product does not put the baker in the same position as the other.

            Like I said, discretion is not the same as discrimination.

          • Philip Mills
            June 30, 2015

            I think I’ve taken up enough of Mr Hunts comments space.
            You and I are coming at this from such wildly different starting places it would take a lot more than a comments section can offer for this conversation to bare any fruit.
            If your interested in the longer conversation you can DM me on twitter @loveservegrow
            Otherwise grace and peace.

  • Dennis
    June 30, 2015

    Mr. Hunt, as Christians, I don’t believe we need to be publicly controversial about this issue. We need to be on our knees praying that this country turns back to God and his moral standards.
    But what is your stand on homosexuality? Is it a sin as defined in God’s Word? I know you are all about love, yet, do you love you gay friends enough to let them know they are doomed to an eternity of agony? Or do you just love them as they are? If so, that is not the love of Jesus Christ. That is the love of this world.
    Now, being actively gay is no more sinful than a heterosexual premarital sex/living together. Sex out of wedlock is a more rampant problem in the world than homosexuality. But the difference it this: when that heterosexual couple gets married, that particular sin ceases. When a homosexual couple gets married, they continue in that sin.
    So, tell me Mr. Hunt, do you truly love your homosexual friends as God asks us to do so? I doubt you will answer.

    • KareninCA714
      June 30, 2015

      Which god? I’m not interested in the god of the bible’s “moral” standards which are pretty disgusting as far as I’m concerned.

      • Dennis
        June 30, 2015

        There is only the one true living God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I hope and pray that God will allow you to see and understand the truth-view of the Bible and not the worldview of the Holy Scriptures. I understand when the truth is hidden from someone, it is hard to understand the Scriptures.

        • Cubby On The Radio
          July 3, 2015

          If I had a god, which I don’t because really? it would be the All Father Odin.

    • Valerie Wagner
      July 1, 2015

      You need to read ‘the good book’ with new eyes. There is enough sin and hate in it for an HBO special. On the one hand ‘Christ’ saved you from the old and into the new, yet believers continually cherry pick verses old and new. It is a book with so many flaws from cover to cover, written and put together by men with their own agendas. No god could be as stupid.

    • jeffision
      July 1, 2015

      I’m pretty sure that the so called “sin” continues for heterosexual married people also if they engage in any sexual activity that is not directly related to reproduction (limited to the missionary act for the sole goal of insemination and conception), according to orthodox interpretations of Christian dogma. No oral, anal, caressing, or even kissing. Not even nudity. Do you love heterosexuals enough to tell them they are doomed to an eternity of agony if their sexual activity isn’t limited to a quick and mechanical insemination with bed clothes on and the lights out, and with feelings of shame and embarrassment afterwards? Or is it only gay people that you love this much?

  • Eric Pearson
    June 30, 2015

    A word of warning about same sex marriage. . . Compromising between Marxism (Social Justice) and our Constitution (Equal Justice) is impossible. Compromise is defined as: β€œA middle way between two extremes.” There is no middle way because it is Treason, and any attempt to find one must fail by definition.

    In a Constitutional Republic, there is no right nor left, no far right, no far left; there are only those who believe in our form of government, as established, and those who do not. Those who do not are simply Traitors, or ignorant followers of Traitors, known as low information voters.

    Read more at: http://christianpoliticalparty.com/

  • davidt57
    June 30, 2015

    Give it time. Give it time. Slippery slopes take time to gain momentum. The attorney who argued for same-sex marriage before SCOTUS acknowledged this could open the door for someone to challenge the tax exempt status of churches. A millionaire homosexual couple in England is spending their money suing their church for not doing same-sex weddings. Business owners in the US are being sued out of business and losing their life savings because their faith convictions are such they don’t want to sell their goods or services in support of same-sex ceremonies. People who dare say that homosexual sex is sinful are routinely called haters and bigots. It will get worse. Just give it time.

  • LoveYourDNA
    June 30, 2015

    There was a time very recently in America where blacks and whites couldn’t marry. I didn’t feel any of God’s wrath when that changed. You people who claim to know God are a joke. He’s laughing at YOU. It’s a test and you’re failing!

    • Ron Duncan
      June 30, 2015

      And there was a time before that time where blacks and whites could marry until it was an act made illegal by the likes of progressive Democrats like Woodrow Wilson who legislated segregation.

      It was an act that was legal until it wasn’t. The same is not true for same sex marriage. If it’s a test, you are failing in both U.S. history and biblical literacy.

      • LoveYourDNA
        July 1, 2015

        Gay love has been around as long as people have roamed the earth. If you blame disasters, wars, etc. on that because the bible says it, you don’t really know an all loving God.

        • Ron Duncan
          July 1, 2015

          Let’s go over what you are saying for a moment here…

          1) I made no mention as to the history of gay love, I only talked about the legal status that at one point interracial marriage in the US was at one time legal until it was made illegal. Homosexual marriage was never legal in the US until this recent passing.

          That makes the two concepts different, not the same as you attempted to compare in your initial post.

          2) I didn’t talk about disasters, wars, etc. in my post.

          3) How can you claim to know God that God is all loving as an attribute outside of the bible? Perhaps I misunderstood your meaning, but how can I say that God is all loving because the bible says it, but then I can’t say the rest of the stuff in the bible because you personally don’t like what it says?

          “If you [believe what it says] blame disasters, etc…because the bible says it…”

          That’s comes off as:

          “I disagree with the bible – but I like the part about what God says about love”

          That doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Religion, so to speak, is based on idea that something is defined as being truth. It’s based on saying something is objectively true. That means truth is truth whether we like it or not. Anything else is just playing at church.

          Let me offer up an example. Washington DC is the capital of the United States. Let’s say for the sake of argument you hate that city. Maybe you don’t like the people there. You think that Boston is a better city. You think it should be the capital.

          The problem is that what you think, what you desire plays no role in what is true or not. Truth is truth because it’s something objective that exists outside of ourselves.

          Jesus makes a claim to be the truth – Jesus also validates scripture. Jesus confirms that there is right and wrong. Jesus died for the sins of the world. My point is this – If the bible is true, then it a person’s likes or dislikes don’t have any bearing on it being true or not.

          This means for me to know the all loving God of the bible, to honestly do so, means I have to honor what He says – about Himself, about the human condition, and the consequences of sin, and how to behave as a believer.

          Do I believe that God is love? Absolutely. But I find that people tend to borrow idea of love without defining or understanding what love is and then using it for their own purposes. As for myself, I go back to look at the definition of love as the bible defines it. Anything else corrupts the idea of love – into something that it’s not.

          Effectively, your reply had nothing to do with what I posted – full of logical fallacies and so on. I could have just shut you down based on that – and is something I tend to do, but it wouldn’t serve either one of us very well.

  • Mike Reise
    June 30, 2015

    I am so sad for the people with their comments based on fear and small-minded closed thinking. I will pray for you and leave you with this poem. Many will not think on it, it’s a shame, for it’s a great way to live your life.

    A boy was born ‘mid little things,
    Between a little world and sky-
    And dreamed not of the cosmic rings
    ‘Round which the circling planets fly.

    He lived in little works and thoughts,
    Where little ventures grow and plod,
    And paced and plowed his little plots,
    And prayed unto his little God.

    But as the mighty system grew,
    His faith grew faint with many scars;
    The Cosmos widened in his view-
    But God was lost among His stars.

    Another boy in lowly days,
    As he, to little things was born,
    But gathered lore in woodland ways,
    And from the glory of the morn.

    As wider skies broke on his view,
    God greatened in his growing mind;
    Each year he dreamed his God anew,
    And left his older God behind.

    He saw the boundless scheme dilate,
    In star and blossom, sky and clod;
    And as the universe grew great,
    He dreamed it for a greater God..

  • Jay LeBorgne
    June 30, 2015

    Crap. I know a wedding officiant that has been threatened with a discrimination law suit if he refuses to marry two men…he has stopped officiating all marriages because he doesn’t have the resources to fight it…so take your warnings and…

  • mm
    July 1, 2015

    You are bible illiterate…and not a true Christ follower.

    • James Jaeger
      July 1, 2015

      You are such a self hating closet case.

  • mm
    July 1, 2015

    Leviticus 20:13 (ASV) And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    • MilitantPacifist
      July 2, 2015

      What’s your shirt made of? Have any tattoos? Eat shellfish or been divorced? As you know – if you’ve read that book – your sins are the same in the eyes of your god. There’s a reason Leviticus does not apply to Christians (hint, his initials are J.C.).

  • mm
    July 1, 2015

    1 Corinthians 6:9 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

    • James Jaeger
      July 1, 2015

      The word and concept of homosexuality did not even exist when the bible was written. You are reading a translation based on a bigoted agenda and completely misquoting even your own mythology. Shame on you!

  • mm
    July 1, 2015

    Romans Chapter 1

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

  • mm
    July 1, 2015

    Romans 1:27 – And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet

  • EqualityForAll
    July 1, 2015

    People, People, People…. The United States of America has never been and never will be a religious nation. Our Founding Fathers made the constitution so that everyone who is a citizen is treated equally. Those who practice a religion are free to do so but they do not have the right to force their beliefs down other peoples throats. Religion has no place in the government that is also something that the Founding Fathers insured. Religious institutions are free to continue as they were in not participation in same-sex marriages, but note that even hetero-marriages that these institutions perform are civil contracts that need to be filed with the government to be legal. Also any government person, Local, State, Federal, appointed or elected, or simply hired to do a job needs to either ask for new duties to perform or resign if they cant do their job as a government official. If you are hired to issue marriage licenses you should do so, your personal religious beliefs shouldn’t factor when you hold and official public government job.

  • Valerie Wagner
    July 1, 2015

    Thanks Zack, you can have sweet tea and fried okra at my house anytime. Leave the zealots at the curb.

  • Ryan Garrison
    July 1, 2015

    Thank you, Zack for the message of kind support. I am not a Christian. However, I fully support your breed of religiosity. We, as gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, simply seek to live with the same degree of autonomy that Christians who are openly practicing enjoy. It is not for I (as an atheist) or Christians to deem how all others should live their lives. Support of each other’s individual belief system is what made/continues to make America a strong, healthy, and viable nation.

  • Scott Webber
    July 1, 2015

    A thoughtful, reasonable and sensitive piece of writing

  • Robert Fowler
    July 2, 2015

    So, first off, I notice the author and moderator (ZachHunt) tactics are typical of those who take the “pro gay” position. If someone disagrees we call them names (chicken little) and/or shut them down. Because of this, they totally lack credibility. As for the outcome, time will tell as I believe these people are not interested in equal rights, they want superior rights. If I were a Christian baker for instance and did not want to bake a “Gay” wedding cake, they would not be happy to just go to another baker, they want to force me to bake their cake. Their rights trump mine!

  • Manny Herrera
    July 2, 2015

    This is what some are worried about.

    http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/millionaire-gay-couple-suing-force-church-hold-wedding/

  • Connie
    July 2, 2015

    I love you man.

  • Jeffry Houser
    July 2, 2015

    I’m greatly offended by the claim that food sucks in CT.

    We have the best pizza in the US.

    • ZackHunt
      July 2, 2015

      It was a playful jab and you’re right, there is good pizza here and, yes, I have been to Pepe’s (good, but overrated). I’m even willing to acknowledge that there is some good (even some great) food to be found in Connecticut, but overall the food tends to be incredibly bland and uninteresting, especially when compared to other regions of the country.

      • Sam Dushukyan
        September 9, 2015

        It’s interesting, Zack, that you jump to answer comments about the food, but not the comments concerning the raging heresies that spew forth from you. Saying that sexual sin is not nor has it ever been intertwined with civilization is outrageous and extremely uninformed. Look at the moabites and the amelikites who committed orgies in their temples to idols and baal and then progressed to homosexuality and then progressed to child sacrifices and then…perished…by Gods judgement when he told His people Israel to destroy every living thing in those lands: men, women, children, and even the livestock. Let’s look at Israel, they started to do similar things and got destroyed and sent to exile to Babylon, let’s look at Rome and trace its decline and when we look at that, we see that America is doing much of the same that Rome did. Don’t profess yourself a part of a community whose principles and ideas you have arrogantly rejected. One cannot accept polar opposite ideologies. This double-think and double-speak is perverting truth and calling white that which is black and that which is white is calling black. Woe unto you.

        Your entire way of thinking is based on the erroneous opinion that man has advanced and knows much and has in fact advanced past God. Romans 1 clearly states: professing themselves wise they became fools…and their foolish hearts were darkened.

        Be careful of what you teach because you WILL give an account to the Almighty.

  • MilitantPacifist
    July 2, 2015

    I’m very offended by this article. It’s BS!!! Connecticut has the best pizza anywhere – it’s obvious the author has not gone to Pepe’s yet. No apocalypse yet, btw.

  • Julia A. Hufford
    July 2, 2015

    Zack,
    I understand your point of view if you take a “artful” look at scripture, which, to be fair, many churches and Christians claiming the name of Christ do subscribe to. The problem with taking this approach to scripture is that it presupposes that we are as smart, (or even smarter) than God, or the people with whom He entrusted His words.
    I realize we have “advance” in in many areas of knowledge since the scriptures were written, but, human nature has basically been the same since Adam and Eve, and the beginning of Man’s downfall did indeed start with someone looking at what God said in such an “artful” manner, did it not?
    I happen to have had enough experience with my own human nature, and the nature to believe that the Christian Scriptures were written for our benefit, and that, like any loving parent, God says things that sometimes are not pleasant to believe and accept. The fact that, unlike every other religion’s holy books, our scriptures reveal our nature as it really is, (corrupt, and needing God’s intervention to redeem it), is what SELLS me on the Holy Bible…I’m not interested in self-improvement, I want relief from my sin and the chains that it represents.
    So when God says that a man lying with a man is an abomination, and sin, or that a woman who cheats on her husband, or a man who marries his mother, (Corinthian church), is sinning, am I to “make it up” , and discard the credibility that the scriptures that offered me relief from my own sin? No, Thank You.
    Either the scriptures are the “whole counsel of God”, or they aren’t. And for those who would note the divorce and adultery rate in the church, as a reason to reject the Biblical standard, you would not suggest that the church should go FARTHER from adherence to the scriptures just because they are backslidden? Actually, this issue should SOBER the church about how far they have strayed. Persecution has ALWAYS purified the church, and those who value holiness have ALWAYS been in the minority.
    I do believe it is the intent of at least the political arm of the gay movement to persecute, and harm true Bible believing churches with their actions, and that churches which show a reverence and loyalty to the truth of the scriptures will suffer lose by this world’s standards. Of course no persecution will come to you, and your church, because you don’t value that standard. Your standard for scriptural adherence is, “does it work for me?” .

  • Ed Hare
    July 5, 2015

    I think that the most important thing to remember about the SCOTUS decision is that is a decision about the civil aspects of marriage. It is saying that under the law, same-sex couples can enter the social and legal contract that marriage is, given equal access to all the laws that govern our society. In a legal sense, ALL marriages are “civil unions.”

    It is then up to the individual couples to create their own meaning of the romantic and spiritual aspects of that marriage. A marriage, civil union, can hold or not hold romantic love. Some couples that are married don’t engage in sex at all. None of this is a matter of law, it is a matter of the nature and choices of the people involved.

    Atheists are also free to marry, and where is the religious right outcry about a Godless marriage? Every religion is free to define spiritual marriage as they see fit, and yes, the author is right — no church will be forced to call a civil union that it does not feel meets the requirements of God a marriage, or to marry people that do not meet their own requirements for the blessings of the church.

    The law has done its best to make all aspects of our society available to all, and now that it has done so, people are free to love who they want and to express that love in any way they choose. They can love, or not love, have sex or no sex, enjoy the bodies that please them, or stay fully clothed at all times. The law has been settled, and now every can go about applying that law to their own lives and their own personal and spiritual beliefs.

  • Kaityan
    July 5, 2015

    Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so.
    Wait. Was there a test that I have to pass? Maybe if I get 3 out of 5 right? Oh my god. I have eaten of the cloven hoof. Maybe if I spend my days in sack cloth and self flagellate with reeds?

  • Dr. D
    July 6, 2015

    Same Sex marriage doesn’t affect you until it does…
    “Catholic School Teacher Fired for Same-Sex β€˜Marriage’ Files Federal Lawsuit”

  • Joseph Lukowski
    July 7, 2015

    UP must be his favorite film.

  • R Kap
    July 11, 2015

    Homosexuality is just wrong, perverted and disgusting. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not. Unnatural acts like a man putting his penis in another mans anus where feces comes out is just plain wrong. Any moron can see that, be honest with yourself.

    • R Kap
      July 11, 2015

      Why is it so hard for people to understand that 4% of our citizens have a mental disorder. We should not be rewarding it or condoning it. These people need help.

  • Giro
    August 28, 2015

    I understand your approach to those fearful christians, but when you say “fellow christians” it implies that you too are a christian. Now I’m not saying you aren’t a christian, but it seems as if you are supporting same-sex marriage, so if you are, please don’t go around telling everyone that you are a christian, because if you aren’t trying to follow the instructions in God’s word, you aren’t really a christian. If this comment doesn’t apply to you than so be it, but if you do support things that God specifically tells you not to support, leave the word “christian” out of your description because it confuses the people who aren’t christians. That’s why people think christians hate gays, and are hypocrites because hypocrites and same-sex haters who thought they were christians weren’t real christians and sent the wrong message to the people who aren’t christians.

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