Last weekend, a video went viral of an employee from a wedding venue in Booneville, Mississippi denying an interracial couple the opportunity to get married at the Boone’s Camp Event Hall. The couple was denied based on the “Christian Faith” of the owner of the event hall. After severe backlash, the owner has issued an apology and apparently just read the Bible for the first time and realized that it never mentions interracial marriage. Racism is not new. Racism in Christianity is not new. This video is not surprising even though it’s 2019. But it does show how ill-intended laws can be used to perpetuate personal agendas.
In 2016, Mississippi was the first state to pass a law that protects “sincerely held beliefs and convictions” about same-sex marriage, extramarital affairs, and people who identity as transgender, essentially legalizing discrimination. In a deeply Southern state as Mississippi, this might not be a surprise, but it should be warning.
As a country, we are deeply divided along political party lines, views on topics such as immigration and gun reform and gay rights. Many people believe that we have fought and won Civil Rights for African Americans and they would be wrong. By legalizing discrimination against one group of people, you will inadvertently legalize discrimination against other groups. At what point do we stand and say that this is wrong?
Slavery was justified on the basis of race and Christianity. Your religious beliefs should not give you the right to limit what another person can do. You have a right to your beliefs, but you do not have the right to impose your beliefs on someone else. That is their right. This video to me shows a troubling trend that we will begin to see more of. Many Christians are holding their tongues because these so-called laws are protecting their religious freedoms. As a Christian, I do not believe that this is right. We are called to love one another, not create division. I will leave you with this quote by Martin Niemoller about the Holocaust:
First they came for the socialist, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.