Friday, March 27, 2015

Springfield MO's Anti-discrimination Repeal: What Am I Missing?

Last fall the Springfield City Council passed a local ordinance that made it illegal to deny housing or employment based on sexual orientation. There is a ballot question to repeal this law on the April 7th ballot and many Christian religious groups are in support of the repeal.

Even my neighbor has a sign supporting its repeal in his yard and we are miles outside of the city limits of Springfield and nobody that lives in my neighborhood is eligible to vote on it.

Last Sunday, my daughter visited a Baptist church in Springfield where the pastor preached his message urging those attending to vote to repeal the ordinance and the church gave away yard signs. I saw a video clip of one of the largest evangelical churches in the greater Springfield area in which the pastor also urged those members that live in Springfield to repeal the city law.

What am I missing?

Are we, as Christians, seeking to repeal a law that protects people from discrimination?

I get that we don't agree with their lifestyle. I get that we often want to be in a position of ignoring the beam in our own eye while pointing at the sins of others. But shouldn't we be spending our time (especially our pulpit time) telling people about Jesus rather than working to promote discrimination against those that differ from us?

And how does this repeal square with the teaching and lifestyle of the Jesus we claim to follow? What about that "Love your neighbor as yourself" or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" teaching?
Can we just ignore that and teach something completely contrary to it?

For some reason I'm thinking of that tax-collecting sinner Zacchaeus. Do you remember that story?
Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming to town but was afraid he wouldn't get to see the famous teacher through the crowd so he climbs up in a tree to catch a glimpse. As Jesus passes, He looks up and sees Zacchaeus and invites himself to dinner at Zacchaeus' house!

Jesus went to the house of a known sinner and had a fellowship meal!

When the Pharisees and religious leaders would have nothing to do with Zacchaeus, Jesus went to his home.

Maybe it's just that we don't like the city telling us to do the things that the Bible already tells us to do. It is a little redundant, isn't it?
Yeah, right!

I know that I'm a little slow sometimes, but this has me completely baffled. I just don't understand why followers of Jesus would support discriminating against people that believe differently than they do. If I am to understand that this repeal of an anti-discrimination thing is a good thing--a Christian thing, then somebody way smarter than me (and way more spiritual) is going to have to explain it to me.

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

You have sound reservations regarding that repeal. Indeed, voting against it might be Pharisee-like behavior.

Big Sky Heidi said...

I hope it won't pass.

Mike said...

What happens when the haters run out of people to hate? Then they turn on each other.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

It's an excessive, reactionary measure. I hope it fails.