Rachel Held Evans on Jesus, Religious Liberty, and Discrimination

I recently wrote about the owners of 111 Cakery refusing to make a cake for a gay couple’s commitment ceremony. The owners of that business should really read this post from Rachel Held Evans. Like, stop making cakes for five minutes and read it now. From Ms. Evans’ blog post:

But what I want to address here is whether followers of Jesus should devote their time and efforts to rallying in support of legislation that would empower business owners to deny services to gay and lesbian people  (many of whom are fellow Christians, by the way)…

[A]s Christians, our most “deeply held religious belief” is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinful people, and that in imitation of that, we are called to love God, to love our neighbors, and to love even our enemies to the point of death. 

So I think we can handle making pastries for gay people. 

And I think that refusing to serve gay and lesbian people, and advancing legislation that denies others their civil liberties in response to perceived threats to our own, does irreparable damage to our witness as Christians and leaves a whole group of people feeling like second-class citizens, not only in our country, but also in the Kingdom.

I think it’s important to note that Ms. Evans is writing this from an evangelical Christian point of view. After watching the documentary Jesus Camp last night, I’m relieved to know that not everyone shares the Jesus Camp mentality of being literal ‘Christian warriors.’

I also hope that this experience has invited the owners of 111 Cakery to reconsider their actions toward those they disagree with and to see their work as an expression of love for all of their neighbors, not an endorsement of each activity for which they bake. I think if they are truly open to their faith, they will find much to like in Ms. Evans’ thoughts.