My Sincerely Held Religious Belief
As a minister of the Gospel, religious freedom is a particularly precious right to me, so these ongoing efforts have my concerned attention. Let me be as clear as I can be: these actions are NOT what protecting religious freedom looks like. In fact, it is precisely the opposite. Passing these sorts of laws would allow people to force their particular religious views on the rest of society. They would render U.S. citizens constantly unsure of whether they could trust equal access to government services or public businesses, solely because of someone’s idea of religious propriety. And it would establish an area where businesses could use the language of religion to exempt themselves from public laws everybody else has to follow.
It really does not matter that these laws have been aimed primarily at LGBT people and same-sex marriage. Over the years, people of strongly held opinions have had the same arguments over interracial or inter-religious marriage, or even remarriage after divorce. We’ve disputed in the same way over serving people of different races and ethnicities-- and indeed, religions. Over and over again, we’ve determined that the public marketplace is not the place to demand our individual views be upheld.
This movement is simply antithetical to the principles of religious freedom upon which our country is founded. Not incidentally, I believe it is also contrary to the gospel message of embracing love which Jesus Christ offered to all who came to him. But my local grocer doesn't need to agree with me on that in order to sell me apples and bananas.