I have been pondering the question posed in the title of this post for quite some time. I believe the main source of this pondering is the furor that is ongoing in America over the rights of individual business owners, who happen to be Christians and hold certain religious values, to refuse to service certain segments of our population. I was informed last year in a discussion on this blog that these Christian business owners had no such right, that if they did not want to serve a certain group of people, that constituted discrimination, and they should shut their business down. The person who made those statements was so offended by my views on this issue that she has not visited my blog since that time.Read the rest here.
This issue has raised its head again in the last few days. The Republican controlled legislature in Arizona passed a bill that gave business owners the specific right to claim their religious beliefs as a defense, were they to be sued for refusing service. The uproar that followed was amazing to me. No matter how much the supporters of that bill tried to explain what it was all about, it was misrepresented and demonized, to the point that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had little choice but to issue a veto.
I engaged in a discussion before the veto on a Politico article in defense of the bill by Rich Lowry. When I questioned why liberals didn’t understand that our Christian beliefs were important to us, business owners or not, I was inundated with replies to inform me of the error of my ways. The basic premise was that Christian business owners had no right to allow their religious beliefs in to their business practices. I guess we are supposed to check them at the door, like a hat or coat. I don’t know about you, but my religious beliefs are a part of who I am as a human being. I don’t remove them when I go to work.
Blogger Charles Phipps has two recent posts along the same topic: Christians and the Culture War, and Homosexuals vs. Religious Business Owners.