"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad. …" (Matthew 5:11-12)
This passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount resonates with me lately, as I observe with trepidation the increasingly anti-Christian tone of our public discourse.
I’ve noticed that Christians who make known their views on hot-button issues are being shouted down in angry and hateful ways by those of the opposing opinion. They’re being subjected to public ridicule and demonized as intolerant, ignorant bigots.
That treatment hasn’t browbeaten all Christians into silence, though. Take the Binghamton-area town clerk who quit her job before New York’s Marriage Equality Act took effect. She could have sugarcoated her reason for leaving, but instead said that as a Christian she could not in good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Comments I read about her decision were hateful and derisive.
I also revisited accounts of a 2009 Miss America pageant contestant who, in response to a judge’s question about legalizing same-sex marriage, said that as a Christian she believes marriage is between one man and one woman. The media backlash was severe. She was publicly vilified by the judge, who is homosexual. He cited her answer as the reason she lost the crown, and even suggested that a more acceptable response would have been one that belied her Christian principles.
These and other public exchanges demonstrate to me that some groups not only believe they deserve ultra First Amendment rights, but also believe it’s acceptable to suppress the First Amendment rights of those who oppose their views. And the situation seems to be getting worse instead of better.
So I’m preparing to rejoice and be glad.