The Internet has no lack of passionate writers opining about the Arizona bill that would have allow businesses to deny service to gay people based on the religious beliefs of the business owner. Though the Arizona governor vetoed the bill, many Christians are still talking about it because similar legislation is brewing (pun intended) in other states. The overwhelming majority of proponents of such laws come from the Religious Right, so below I offer some links that I have found helpful in processing what I believe on such matters. The first three are my favorite.
Keep three things in mind:
- The following articles were written by Christians; some will be more aligned with your flavor of Christianity, and some will challenge your beliefs.
- Not all viewpoints provided agree with one another or with any authors of LCC.
- Do not assume that you are absolutely, positively, 100% correct in your view. Be willing to adjust your thinking, even if only in minor ways.
Rachel Held Evans: Walking the Second Mile: Jesus, Discrimination, and ‘Religious Freedom’
ReKnew.org (ministry of Greg Boyd; it is unclear if Boyd wrote this article): In the Aftermath of the AZ Anti-Gay Bill
Jonathan Merritt and Kirsten Powers: Conservative Christians Selectively Apply Biblical Teachings in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate
Merritt and Powers received plenty of criticism, to which they responded here: Does the Bible prohibit providing services for same-sex weddings? Theologians weigh in.
[UPDATE: I also came across this article after posting. Enjoy!]
Adult maturity is partly evidenced by how well we allow our past to influence our vision and hope for the future. No matter how bleak our past experiences might be, if we never allow them to shape our vision forward, our future will be even bleaker. Reflective consideration for what we have read, heard, and experienced throughout this past year ought to help us consider what the upcoming year(s) will be like.
The stories we live by grip us tighter than we are willing or able to admit. Whether we treat our beliefs as narratives or propositions, our life context contributes greatly to how we think about the world. The disciples of Jesus lived with certain expectations about the God who would come and set the world aright. Jesus upended that view of God and the future of Israel and transformed their story. In a very real sense this is what God does: upend our stories. In Matthew 25 both the sheep and goats are surprised at their judgment. In Luke 15 both the prodigal son and his eldest brother expected their father to respond one way, yet their father responded the opposite. The disciples had Jesus living in the present, and we have the Spirit dwelling in us and in our loved ones around us. Read More→
This article was jointly written by Doug Stuart and Jessica Hooker.
“…libertarianism is a values system of its own, and it’s an alternative, not a complement, to the values system that is Christianity.”
Such is the thesis of Elizabeth Stoker’s ongoing series on Christianity and libertarianism. She makes a strong case against what she thinks is an incompatibility between libertarian philosophy (as she understands it) and Christianity (as she understands it).
Stoker and these LCC authors share a common lineage. Like her, we grew up in “right-wing” homes, both distinctively Christian. While many of our beliefs were inherited from our parents, there was not a time when we didn’t believe for ourselves what the Bible said. Likewise, our families’ political ideology (staunch Republican) influenced the way we thought about politics for years. Over time Stoker became a hardcore leftist, while our journeys brought us to respect and embrace libertarianism. In some ways, we share a common dislike for the “right-wing” political ideology.
Stoker stated at the beginning of her first post, “The Curious Case of Christian Libertarians”, that she did not intend to shame or poke fun at anyone. Neither do we.
She wanted to share why she believes “the central concerns of libertarians are fundamentally different from the central concerns of Christianity.” Good for her.
She has written a succinct explanation of her position.
Now, it’s our turn. Read More→