9/8/19 – Freedom of religion is not Freedom to Discriminate

Posted on : Sep 5th, 2019 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

After the United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental human right and States cannot discriminate on the basis of the gender for those who wish to be married, a group of conservative Christians began a movement known as “Religious Liberty” or “Religious Freedom.”  One of the most known causes of this group was a lawsuit against Jack Phillips, the anti-gay owner of Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop.  Mr. Phillips refused to bake a wedding cake for two men.  He claimed it was against his religious beliefs. 

This was just the first of many “religious liberty” or “religious freedom” claims that are really discrimination cloaked in religious belief.  Just to be clear, it’s not about the cake.  The battle here is whether religion can be used to discriminate against others.  That question gets more complicated when you clarify whose religion is setting the standard for judgment.   Is it evangelical Christianity?  Is it conservative Roman Catholic moral theology?  Is it Orthodox or Liberal Judaism?  Is it conservative or progressive Islam?  Or is it progressive or moderate Christianity?

Each of these religions has their own beliefs and moral teachings.  Is it right to let every religious person decide what they believe is morally wrong and be allowed to discriminate against others with whom they disagree?

Progressive Christians have always been against any form of discrimination, especially that cloaked in religion.  Progressive Christians believe the purpose of religion is always to expand the vastness of God’s love and grace, not to discriminate against or condemn others. 

This Sunday we will look at this issue as we conclude our summer worship series, “8 Things Progressive Christians Believe.”



Matthew 23: 23-29

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.  You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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