27 Sep

Caesar, Coercion, and the Christian Conscience: A Dangerous Confusion

first_imgAlbert Mohler.com 24 February 2014Several states are now considering legislation that would provide explicit protections to citizens whose consciences will not allow an endorsement of same-sex marriage. The bills vary by state, as do the prospects for legislative passage, but the key issues remain constant. Millions of American citizens are facing a direct collision between their moral convictions and the demands of their government.The cases are now piling up. A wedding photographer in New Mexico, cake bakers in Colorado and Oregon, and a florist in Washington State have all found themselves in this predicament. Each now faces the coercive power of the state. They are being told, in no uncertain terms, that they must participate in providing services for same-sex weddings or go out of business.The bills now being considered in several states are attempts to protect these citizens from government coercion. They take the form of remedial legislation — bills intended to fix a problem. And the problem is all too real, and so is the controversy over these bills.Those pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage are relentless in their insistence that these bills would violate the civil rights of same-sex couples. They brilliantly employed arguments from the civil rights in their push for same-sex marriage, and they now employ similar arguments in their opposition to bills that would protect the consciences of those opposed to same-sex marriage. They claim that the rights of gays and lesbians and others in the LGBT community are equivalent to the rights rightly demanded by African Americans in the civil rights movement. Thus far, they have been stunningly successful in persuading courts to accept their argument.That sets up the inevitable collision of law and values and Christian conviction. In each of the cases listed above, the key issue is not a willingness to serve same-sex couples, but the unwillingness to participate in a same-sex wedding. Christian automobile dealers can sell cars to persons of various sexual orientations and behaviors without violating conscience. The same is true for insurance agents and building contractors. But the cases of pressing concern have to do with forcing Christians to participate in same-sex weddings — and this is another matter altogether.Photographers, makers of artistic wedding cakes, and florists are now told that they must participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies, and this is a direct violation of their religiously-based conviction that they should lend no active support of a same-sex wedding. Based upon their biblical convictions, they do not believe that a same-sex wedding can be legitimate in any Christian perspective and that their active participation can only be read as a forced endorsement of what they believe to be fundamentally wrong and sinful. They remember the words of the Apostle Paul when he indicted both those who commit sin and those “who give approval to those who practice them.” [Romans 1:32]The advocates of same-sex marriage saw this coming, as did the opponents of this legal and moral revolution. Judges and legal scholars also knew the collision was coming. Judge Michael McConnell, formerly a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and now director of Stanford University’s Constitutional Law Center, suggested many years ago that the coming conflict would “feature a seemingly irreconcilable clash between those who believe that homosexual conduct is immoral and those who believe that it is a natural and morally unobjectionable manifestation of human sexuality.” Accordingly, he called for a spirit of tolerance and respect, much like what society expects of religious believers and atheists — what he called “civil toleration.”But the advocates of same-sex marriage are not friendly to the idea of toleration. One prominent gay rights lawyer predicted just this kind of controversy almost a decade ago when she admitted that violations of conscience would be inevitable as same-sex marriage is legalized. Chai Feldblum, then a professor at the Yale Law School, also admitted that her acknowledgement of a violated conscience might be “cold comfort” to those whose consciences are violated.But perhaps the strangest and most disappointing dimension of the current controversy is the entry of some Christians on the side of coercing the conscience. Writing in USA Today, Kirsten Powers accused Christians supporting such legislation of “essentially arguing for homosexual Jim Crow laws.” She explicitly denied that florists and bakers and photographers are forced to “celebrate” a same-sex union when forced to provide their services for such a ceremony.http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/02/24/caesar-coercion-and-the-christian-conscience-a-dangerous-confusion/last_img read more

24 Sep

John Garrison

first_imgJohn Garrison 60, of Dillsboro passed away Sunday June 11, 2017 at Dearborn County Hospital at Lawrenceburg. John was born Saturday July 21, 1956 in Cincinnati, OH the son of Wilbur “Whitey” and Laura “Della” Garrison. John was US Navy veteran.  He was a member of the Aurora American Legion and Aurora Eagles.  John enjoyed fishing, watching NASCAR, sports, dirt track racing, listening to country music and spending time with his family.His survivors include mother: Della Palmer of Bedford, In; daughters: Ashley (Kevin) Rohrbach of Bear Branch, In; Jeaneta Lozier of Richmond, In; brother: Charles Palmer of Cincinnati, Ohio; sisters: Brenda Schantz of Sunman; Vicki (Barry) Steele of Brookville; 6-Grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his father Wilbur Garrison; brother: Billy Garrison; son: Joshua Kyle Garrison; grandson: Kyle Garrison.Funeral services will be 1PM Thursday June 15, 2017 at Sibbett-Moore Funeral Home with Pastor Jim Genkins officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery in Moores Hill with military honors provided by the Aurora American Legion Post #231.   Visitation will be 11-1PM Thursday also at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Family. Sibbett-Moore Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements, 16717 Manchester Street Box 156 Moores Hill, In 47032 (812)744-3280.  Go to www.sibbettmoore.com to leave an online condolence message for the family.last_img read more