Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I love you, but I'm worried about your immortal soul

I'm not going to wade into a lengthy debate about whether laws purporting to "restore" religious liberties are really licenses to discriminate. I suspect that, in the current context, they are. No one seemed upset about catering or providing flowers for repeat trips to the altar in the past, but what do I know?

What does interest me is the discourse some religious full-bore supporters of discrimination against gays and lesbians engage in. It goes something like this: "I don't hate you. In fact I love you. And, I am concerned about your immortal soul and the souls of those you may influence. So, I think society and the law should discourage (punish) you for your life(style)." This can often trail off into talk of God's punishment. 
I suspect some of those who deal in this line do so sincerely, but it puts me in mind of another person who just wanted to see people converted—though he thought it as impossible as some modern day evangelists must see my conversion—and make sure they didn't adversely affect others. And, so, in the spirit of Christian love, Martin Luther wrote On the Jews and their Lies. Because he found them incorrigible, he believed their homes and synagogues ought to be burned. And, he hoped it might lead to repentance, but failing that, at least good Christians would be saved from a malign influence. 
How different is that, at the end of the day, from those who merely want to save me from my own perfidious ways?

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