The Government, according to the U.S. Constitution, is responsible for establishing justice, providing domestic tranquility and a common defense, and promoting the general welfare of the people. The Church should honor and care for its members and protect the body against dissension. Yet our human nature can often time trump either of these sacred documents. There are some, like the “I have no need of you” persons mention in I Corinthians 12, who would maintain that it is okay to avoid people who are different because we may feel unsafe when we do not “keep to our own kind.” In order to rise above our nature that tells us to fear the “other,” we need to listen to the hope and optimism found in these documents (The Constitution and the Bible) and allow their inspiring words to resonate within our spirit.
According to the ACLU, businesses in many states are already barred by law from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation, as well as race, religion, or other legally protected categories. Many Conservative Christians believe their faith and values have been under attack since the Culture Wars of the 1950’s and 60’s as the “minorities” in America gain greater legal rights. Conservative Christians have aggressively stepped up their game in the last twenty to thirty years because this “war” is very personal for them. Arizona State Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a sponsor of the state’s religious freedom bill proclaimed, “This bill is not about allowing discrimination. This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”11
- What are some examples from American history where we have practiced “keeping to your own kind?”
- Do you think this had strengthened or weakened our communities? Why?
11 Simon Brown, “Church & State”. Database: Religion and Philosophy Collection, April 2014, Vol. 67, Issue 4: 7.