On Monday, Nathan Deal, the governor of Georgia, announced that he would veto House Bill 757, otherwise known as the Religious Liberty Bill. Deal said that he had received numerous calls over the bill. He said that nuns threatened him and pastors questioned the legitimacy of his faith if he decided to veto the bill. On the other side, Hollywood film studios, professional sports leagues and big money corporations said that they would make Deal pay if he signed the bill into law. In the end, Deal decided that being known as the state where Ant Man was filmed and hosting another Super Bowl that would almost certainly not involve the team from his state was more important than religious liberty.
If it weren’t for all of the trampling of our freedoms, all of this hypocrisy would make me laugh. The same industry where pedophile rings are as common as peaches in Georgia wants to threaten the state to bow to the homosexual agenda. The same league that all but sanctions domestic violence suddenly wants to take what they think is the moral high ground by threatening to leave the state if the governor doesn’t force bakers to make cakes for gay weddings. Look, I’m no politician or anything but maybe our state would be better off without the pedophile rings and leagues of wife abusers.
If only we had a governor with enough backbone to say, “So you’re threatening to take your pedophilia and domestic abuse out of our state if I decide to protect churches and small businesses? Well, I-20 is that way.”
But apparently it’s just too much for our governor to risk loosing such a cinematic masterpiece as Ant Man.
Typically, many have called this bill a hate bill. That’s because the LGBT community is trying as hard as it can to be the black civil rights movement of the 1960s. But unless I’m watching the wrong channel, I’m just not seeing a whole lot of southern, Democratic politicians sicking dogs on gays like they did to blacks all of those years ago. But I am seeing quite a few Republicans and Democrats sicking their attorneys and paid agitators on those with the nerve to still have a conscience.
As a pastor, I have refused to perform more than one wedding ceremony. There have been some couples who just don’t meet the Biblical qualifications for marriage. Others couldn’t go more than five minutes without broadcasting their major issues right in front of me. When I tell them that I will not perform their wedding, they’re usually not too happy with me. They call me terrible names like fool, hypocrite, Republican and other words that should not be spoken around children. But they never try to sue me. The message from our governor on Monday was, “But now’s a good time to start.”
This is all the natural result of a government that has gotten far to big for anyone’s good. And both gays and straights, religious and non-religious are responsible for allowing it to happen. When a private baker says that he doesn’t want to participate in a homosexual wedding ceremony, rather than finding the next baker, there are those who feel the need to go to a court and make someone pay in the name of social justice.
On the other side, Christians have for far too long looked to the state to sanction what the Bible already has. Why do we think that marriage has to be a government issue? Baptism isn’t. And praise God for that. But now that I’ve put the idea out there, I’m sure that there will be a bill before the Georgia General Assembly next year requiring churches to baptize unrepentant atheists in the name of diversity. I know of a few churches that are already ahead of the curve. Hey, whatever it takes to get the numbers.
Nathan Deal is a Republican. Hopefully Monday’s actions will remind us that simply voting for the lesser of two evils because he is a Republican is foolish. Before Nathan Deal was a Republican, he was a Democrat. And now, he’s acting an awful lot like a Democrat. But quite honestly, I’m having a hard time telling the difference.
Nathan Deal is not up for reelection. He doesn’t have to worry about losing the Christian vote in a few years. But one thing that should concern him is his legacy. What will Nathan Deal be remembered for?
To many, he will be remembered as the man who cared more about Ant Man than he did for the people who elected him to protect their freedoms.
Christians, this is a time to stand up. Not in hate. Not so that you can show the homosexuals a thing or two. And not strictly out of anger like a bunch of Donald Trump supporters. We must stand in love. But do not believe the lies of those self-proclaimed Christians who value getting along and being relevant more than the Truth. It is possible to stand up against something in a loving way. There are some Christians who pretend that aligning themselves with the LGBT community at the expense of the gospel is somehow speaking up for the voiceless and the marginalized. You know, the voiceless and marginalized who have the full support of Hollywood and the NFL. But what of the marginalized baker who just lost his business because he doesn’t want to bake a cake for Dan and Billy? Crickets chirping. Oh, and when does Ant Man 2 come out because, you know, it was filmed right around the corner from my aunt’s house?
We must stand for truth and we must do so in love. But Christian, as you do, expect some opposition. The Hollywood elite, the NFL, big business, and yes, even your governor, if you live in Georgia, have you surrounded. But that’s okay because just like Elisha before us, “those who are with us are greater than those who are with them.” And there is nothing a Nathan Deal veto can do about that.
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17 (ESV)