And it doesn't change much, really. Being mocked or yelled at is a tad different from seeking legal action to shut me up.
Although some of those do try to take legal action to force churches who don't believe in Birth Control to provide it, take away a church's non-profit status and possibly tax them into the ground. So while it may not be in the arena of wedding cakes, there are other controversies.
For one, and it's important, most people, and I personally am among them, rebel at intolerance; when someone says to me "this is what I believe, and you must believe that way or else", I take offense. Vocal minority or not, homosexual people tend to push their lifestyle as something totally innocent, and if you say otherwise, you're homophobic.
I still think that's painting too broad a brush, but supposing that the vast majority of homosexuals were like this...
Even with that as an additional hurdle, there are ways to bring it up and ways not to bring it up. Most people are aware of what Christianity teaches but it is important to note several things:
1) It is only homosexual activity, not their sexual orientation in of itself.
2) To make clear that it is an automatic condemnation any more than heterosexual ones (more on this later in the post).
3) There is no double standard that makes homosexuality any better or worse than anything else. I understand this may come off as being "soft", but I think this perspective is due to an unnecessary level of harshness and attention.
4) We are no better than them
5) We are not trying to "change" their sexuality either by trying to "make them straight" or something. There are all kinds of horror stories talking about those and it kind of relates to #1. It is not their orientation or identity we are trying to change (of which they may not have any control over).
There is also the fact that Christians have all too often done the same thing in regards to this and other similar controversies as well, which doesn't help our case much.
But a lack of a teaching against of one type of sin (pre-marriage sex) does not mean it's OK to ignore them all. If we used that logic, then no one would be able to say anything regarding any type of sin. Including racism, homosexuality, lying, cheating, murder, theft, ETC. Not a very effective church, or person.
I didn't say that it was, although I don't think these are the only two options. Rather than this line of reasoning, it would be better to re-emphasize teachings about heterosexual relations. Again, the whole point here is to show that there is no double standard.
For three, there's the matter of love itself. If I let someone go on in self-destructive behavior, while doing little more than "hai U guys stop", am I actually demonstrating love? If Christians taught that homosexuality was no big deal, would it change what God says happens after life? When we take a stand against homosexual policy, it's not a matter of hatred, but a fear that a sin will become a standard, and people will forget that it will cause separation from God.
Well, you kind of have a point, but are the only options either extreme (and possibly unnecessary) harshness or being lax? I hardly think so. There are many other ways to address this. Each person and situation is different and must be handled on a case by case basis. There is no one size fits all.
Because no one changes if they don't know they need to. Would you consider it OK for a Christian to lie frequently, or steal? As long as they knew it was wrong, would you not bother trying to stop them, just treat them as "lovingly" as possible?
Not sure if we are defining the term lovingly in the same way here. I think part of that love is to of course is to say what Christianity teaches, but people need to come to it in their own time and just to have someone who will be there for them regardless. If they come to the realization, great, if not, that should not change how we relate to them. It seems to go back to once again, the idea that treating this without incredibly harsh or austere measures is mistakenly thought of as "too soft". Tell them the fullness of the truth when they are ready to hear it and possibly consider and/or accept it. Each situation is different and to give a heavy handed one size fits all approach would be ineffective at best and downright cruel at worst.
Can you explain the reasoning behind the idea that Homosexuality isn't worse than heterosexuality? Or that it would be bettered by marriage?
I am not sure of my answer second question just yet but I will gladly explain my reasoning regarding the first...
As for Paul, there are verses such as the one quoted here and others relating to it to take into context. I do not think the words used to describe homosexuality in this passage or other related ones are limited to just that one item. In another one he lists a whole bunch of people who will not inherit the Kingdom, which includes heterosexual sins (fornication) as well. They are all lumped in together.
Although, as he also writes all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God is merciful to all of us, and we do not deserve it regardless of what the issue is. As he also writes in Corinthians God will judge those outside the Church. Our responsibility is towards those in the Church. Therefore, once more, proclaiming a final judgment would not be the correct thing to do. In like manner, to say that the harshest words only apply to one particular sin that Paul names to me is a misinterpretation. It seems here and elsewhere he treats them all equally.
There is much more I could say on this topic but I think this is enough for now. Hope that helps.
Still, I have to reply "no". Because it needs to be acknowledged from point 0 that, whether the vocal minority or average Joe homosexual, it's God who's firmly against it; not Christians by themselves. If a Christian were queried about homosexuality and answered with nothing but biblical quotes, it would still come up as "sin". And that, whether the vocal minority or average Joe, it is wanted to become "normal". I have never met a practicing homosexual who admits what they're doing is wrong. Have you?
How many are Christians that were properly taught and understood it correctly in the first place would be the first question. Obviously, a non-believer may not accept the Bible at all so it shouldn't be all that surprising then.
I can't recall if I ever heard anyone who said homosexual activity is wrong so I will give you that.
In fact, it's sort of ironic you bring it up; because Christians who will dare to say that an "alternative lifestyle" is wrong usually get lumped in with extremists. You'd be surprised how often "homosexuality is wrong" will instantly get you called homophobic. You even imply it in your post, however gently.
Sure, but with the caveats I mentioned earlier of course. It won't satisfy everyone but then again that is not the goal here. This is in part to differentiate from the usual implied messages which often come from extremists. It also shows that no, one is not automatically condemned or should be seen as doing anything inherently worse than anyone else. You and I are no better than they are after all. Oftentimes people are used to Christians proclaiming that they are better, their sins are somehow not as bad, or that someone else's is just plain worse than theirs even when it isn't. We must do what we can to alleviate this and send out the correct message.
Nope. But it does mean that trying to take away that right by force is wrong. It also means that, even if someone thinks I'm being a jerk when I'm not, they can't take legal action against me for it. Which is sort of the point of the new law. I can refuse to be a part of something I think is wrong.
Which isn't an irrational request.
Refusing to be a part of something that is believed to be wrong isn't an irrational request in itself. However, it circles back around to what constitutes as being a part of an event in the first place. Not every business situation does and therefore it would not be the right thing to do in those cases. Some beliefs can be mistaken and therefore wrong. I have made clear that refusing service on the issue of wedding cakes under any or all conditions is a wrong viewpoint to have. I may not have explicitly said that until now but that's the main thesis. I believe that some situations do not constitute as being asked to partake in something that goes against someone's beliefs and thus these situations are not covered by freedom of religion. These do not constitute a right and should not be defended as if they were.
“If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.” - Theodore Dalrymple