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Tuesday, May 03, 2016


Back in February my family (at last count there was something like 305 of us) had their biennial gathering. The place they've enjoyed meeting at for the past several times is a Jewish university in southern California. Neat place. Tucked back in its own canyon, good hiking, good scenery, nice place. But it is a Jewish university. So we pay their price and they provide the housing (It is, after all, an entire 3-day weekend.) and the facilities and the food and things like sound equipment and the like. A very enjoyable time at a very enjoyable place. The rules are typical with a couple of uniquely Jewish exceptions. They wouldn't serve a hot meal on Saturday. It was the Sabbath, you know, and the only food they could serve was cold food or food that was prepared on Friday. But the one that really struck me was this: do not bring any non-kosher foods on the campus.

Now, that seemed strange to me. I mean, fornication is still a violation of Jewish rules, but they don't require that members of the opposite sex who share a room to be married. Homosexual behavior is still a violation of Jewish rules, but they don't care if a same-sex couple share a room, either. They don't balk at alcohol and don't care if we have a Christian church service on Sunday. They just won't allow non-kosher foods on the campus.

And then I realized why. You see, they aren't concerned about your sin. Go ahead and sin all you want. You'll have to answer to God for that (although I'm sure they would have said "G_d"). They're concerned about their own sin. And if you brought non-kosher foods onto the property, it could affect their kosher observance. So they drew the line there.

As it turns out, that's what Christian bakers and florists and photographers and innkeepers and pastors and ... well, you get the idea ... that's all they're asking. By all means, you go ahead and sin. It is not their job to stop you. Hey, we all sin. Now, they do want to live godly lives, to live their lives in such a way that God is glorified, and they do want you to hear the Gospel that your sin can be dealt with. But making the world a moral place is not their job. They just ask that others don't require them to sin.

It's not the same thing as the "anti-LGBT" tag is trying to get across. The photographer didn't say, "You must not go through with it." She said, "Please don't make me participate." The florist didn't say, "Repent, sinner!" She said, "Please don't make me participate." And the call of the opposition is not equivalent. They do not say, "You do what you want; just don't ask us to." They say, "Oh, no, you will sin against your God in favor of our values or you will face the consequences." And there are consequences.

On those "100+ anti-LGBT laws" in the works around the country, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, "Specific laws like this that seek to target and marginalize one small segment of the population is nothing less than mean-spirited." Is it mean-spirited to ask to be excluded? Or is the truly mean spirit the one that demands subjugation -- subjugation of the Second Amendment and even subjugation of God's Laws. "Please don't make me sin" is not mean-spirited. "You will ignore your God" is.

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