"California's recognition of same-sex marriages went into effect June 17, and the newswires quickly filled with images of happy couples exchanging rings, being showered with rice, and blushing. But the celebrations cannot conceal the legal difficulties that lie ahead for religious groups that do not recognize these unions.
Confronted with a choice between Church teaching and Massachusetts state law, which also recognizes same-sex marriages, Catholic Charities, an organization that only places children with heterosexual couples, had to close its adoption agencies in the state. In New Jersey, a Methodist ministry that rented out facilities for wedding receptions lost its tax-exempt status for refusing to make the space available for same-sex commitment ceremonies.
Legal recognition of gay unions comes at a steep price for Christian institutions, which have now lost a degree of freedom. If states do not provide religious exemptions to these laws, same-sex marriage will begin pushing faith-based organizations out of the public square. This means the loss not only of a few reception halls and adoption agencies, but many religiously-affiliated hospitals and schools.
In a nation so committed to allowing its citizens to define their own lives, a little tolerance ought also to be extended to these long established and socially vital institutions. "
Essentially - Christian institutions are being forced to violate the tenants of their faith (such coersion is not being visited upon Jewish institutions) or else be forced to pay money to the government.
There is something liberating about being a non-"401-C3" church - like some of the eccentric Christian Identity, and backwater churches are. When the government becomes anti-Christian - only anti-government churches can stay tru to the faith.
Labels: American Conservative, Christianity, Gay marriage