This is the first blog in my dictionary series where I help people learn the actual meanings of words they misuse.
On Thursday, April 9, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared in Iowa before a forum for people who homeschool their kids (insert eye roll) and railed against the “rainbow jihad” being waged by gays and lesbians right now against “people of faith” in Indiana and Arkansas.
He recalled a day when Democrats and Republicans “all stood together and said of course everyone of us has a God-given right to seek out and worship God and to live according to our faith and our conscience and our belief.”
I imagine we’ll be hearing this rhetoric a lot as he campaigns in Iowa and in my home state of South Carolina, where my fellow Southern Baptists will be receptive to this argument. But I’d ask Ted to consult a dictionary because he doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “jihad.”
From Wikipedia, “Jihad refers to a struggle against those who do not believe in the Islamic God and do not acknowledge the submission to Muslims.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad
Let’s look at what gays and lesbians are asking for versus what Ted is asking for. Gays and lesbians aren’t asking Christians to change their beliefs on gay marriage. We’re not stopping anyone from going to church, temple or mosque to worship. We’re not asking anyone to believe that the Bible says it’s ok for two men and two women to marry. We are just asking people that own a business to treat their customers with respect. And to provide, without discrimination, the services for which their business licenses were granted.
Kevin O’Connor, the owner of Memories Pizza in Indiana, and his daughter say they would serve gay customers pizza but refuse to cater a gay wedding. So who is really waging a jihad here?
From their yelp reviews (e.g., “their sauce tastes more like ketchup”), their pizza isn’t something you’d want on your special day. And as Rosie O’Donnell said, “Not even lesbians would want a wedding catered with pizza.” Nevertheless, the question remains. Do the O’Connors, or any other business owners, have the right, through their business, to force their “religious beliefs” on others?
The point no one seems to be addressing is the hypocrisy of basing a discriminatory act on the Bible without then following all tenets of the Good Book. The O’Connors claim they’re trying to run a business based on their religious principles, but they seem merely using the bible to justify their discrimination against gays while ignoring other parts of the Bible. I didn’t hear them refuse to cater a wedding where the people are in their second marriages? Adultery is clearly worse than homosexuality because it’s mentioned in the Top Ten. If they’re following other Biblical principles, they should be refusing to cater a wedding if the bride’s dress is made out of two different fabrics (a violation of Leviticus 19:19).
Let’s assume that religious freedom laws should allow people to refuse service based on opposition to same sex marriage. Where do we draw the line?
Should a U-Haul owner be able to refuse to allow a lesbian couple to rent a truck?
Should a restaurant owner who realizes that one of his patrons is about to propose to his boyfriend of the past ten years, be able to kick them out just before the guy pops the question?
Should a hotel owner require a marriage license before allowing a man and a woman to rent a room?
Gays and lesbians are not stopping people from worshipping. In fact, many of us believe in God / Jehovah / Allah / Mother Earth. But we need to recognize that freedom to impose your religious beliefs on others is very different from your right to your belief. No one is stopping a pastor from preaching a sermon where he rails against homosexuality. But a business owner shouldn’t have the same rights to preach discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.
No gay couple asked Memories Pizza to cater their wedding, but Crystal O’Connor went on the local news to let the world know she doesn’t support gay marriage because it’s against her interpretation of the Bible. So I’d ask Senator Cruz, who’s really waging jihad here? A gay couple that wants pizza or the O’Connors who are refusing to offer service to those who don’t submit to their view on marriage?