From The Left: An Easter Message About Tolerance

Sometimes, being a Christian is hard.

This week, Christians all around the world will gather together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This event is perhaps the holiest of all holidays for my fellow Christians. During this time of year, I have a personal tradition of re-dedicating myself to my favorite part of the Bible, the Sermon on the Mount, also known as the Beatitudes of Jesus.

The Sermon on the Mount is the highest level of ethical teachings in the Bible, expanding on the 10 Commandments and all of the laws of Moses. The sermon is spoken directly to the believers in Christ.

One of the amazing things about the Bible is that it has the ability to speak in a way that it can be understood and appreciated by school children, yet well educated adults can spend all their efforts trying to understand and comprehend its greatness and still come away with disagreements and questions.

I love this part of the Bible because it really seems to speak to me. In this teaching, Christ sets the bar exceptionally high for his believers, and commands them to a life at the highest of standards and to focus on preventing the type of internal sin that destroys the soul from within.

This part of the Bible teaches me that I am in need of spiritual help, and that I am must be truly sorry for the sins I commit against myself and others.

In short, this part of the Bible sets the bar very high calling on Christians to be perfect, as the Father in Heaven is perfect. As a Christian it humbles me as well and teaches me to appreciate and understands the first and second commandment of Jesus, from Matthew 22:37-39 which is…

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

However, when I hear Christians enter into political debate in our country, they often lack any humility and fail obey to the Commandments of Christ. The most reason example of this is how many American Christians are coming out to support laws that legally allow discrimination against GLBT persons under the guise of “Religious Freedom”.

First off, can we retire the argument that the reason these laws are being passed and promoted is because there is a large number of cake decorators and floral businesses who are so offended by the sin of gay marriage?

This issue is not about sin. The bible teaches us that we are all sinners. Every wedding business in the world has provided services to people who are sinners and people who openly live their lives in a way that is inconsistent with the teachings of Christ. They provide services to atheists, divorcees, non-Christians, and all sorts of other people who live life in a way that is consistent with the teachings of Christ.

However, because Gay people make them feel icky, they have decided to draw a line in the sand when it comes to providing services to them.

It is important to note that it is not the first time the so called “Moral Majority” has attempted to use the Bible and the teachings of Christ as a tool to promote legal discrimination and protection of the rights of business owners and government officials to do despicable things. This very issue was used to promote racial separation and segregation in the past:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Judge Leon M. Bazile, January 6, 1959

To me, this is such a perversion of the teachings of Christ to deny services to anybody, whether it be cake, a marriage license, or any other services. This act does not seem like the practice of loving our neighbors as ourselves.  As an admitted sinner who falls short in the eyes of God, it does not seem like my place to deny services to anybody because I view them as are a sinner. To me, that is the definition of a hypocrite.

I just wish more Christians would look inward at their own sin before casting out others.

Happy Easter everybody.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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