Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had to make a decision this past week, whether or not to veto SB 1062. Her dilemma can be seen in the two perspectives of the proposed legislation; proponents characterize the bill as protecting religious freedom and its opponents call it discriminatory and anti-gay. The bill was a response to recent court cases in which a Colorado bakery and a New Mexico florist were both found guilty of discrimination for failing to provide services for same-sex weddings.
Being ignorant of the exact wording of SB 1062, I am not inclined to comment on it directly as others have. Some within the Christian community have been quick to say what Jesus would or would not do in each of the situations given. I think some have sincerely, yet thoughtlessly, rushed to judgment in this matter on both sides.
So let’s clarify some things. Jesus did eat with sinners. He was very relational in His interactions with individuals to be a righteous influence in their lives. But sharing a meal with sinners does not mean Jesus shared in their practice of sin or condoned sin.
It is true Jesus did not condemn the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11). He did not need to because she was guilty. This is why she never argued for her innocence, or said her accusers were lying. When those within the gay community point this passage out I am heartened that they recognize homosexuality is a sin like adultery, and wish they would follow Jesus’ admonition to the woman to go and “sin no more,” John 8:11.
There will be more cases like this one. When Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in United States v. Windsor striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, he wrote that, “both moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality” is unconstitutional, he set the stage for what happened in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Christians have a higher mandate than the Constitution. “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked,” Proverbs 25:26. We defile ourselves and our nation when we do not stand for righteousness. To stand silently by and not warn our nation, or allow others to go blindly into eternity without sharing the hope that can only be found in Christ would be a greater sin than homosexuality.
Jan Brewer’s veto or Anthony Kennedy’s ruling will not be the end of this controversy, because the real Supreme Court does not convene down here. “Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord,” Proverbs 29:26. This is not the last word.