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Freedom Wins in Court Ruling

On September 17, 2019, front page headlines in the Arizona Republic read: “LGBTQ decision goes against city.” The complaint concerned the AZ Supreme Court’s ruling that the business Brush and Nib Studio cannot be forced to create custom wedding invitations to same-sex couples.

Whose city are we talking about? I live in this city, and I and many other people agree with the court's decision. It’s not with venom or prejudice that Brush and Nib choose not to create custom same-sex wedding invitations. Instead, they simply could not, in good conscience, violate their beliefs. If they refused to ignore their conscience, they would have to lose their business or each owner could be penalized up to $2500 per day and six months in jail! [1]

So what do the owners of Brush & Nib Studio base their concerns on? They were not trying to offend anyone but only remain true to their conviction that marriage, according to the Bible, is between one man and one woman. Jesus reiterated Old Testament [2] teaching on marriage in Matthew 19:4-5 “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?'”

Yes, Jesus said to love others, and all people deserve to be treated with respect. No one should be persecuted or harmed by violence or hateful words. The owners of Brush and Nib were not being hateful or “using God” to discriminate, which some have suggested. But rather, they were obeying God.

In the same newspaper as the article mentioned above, E. J. Montini’s column is entitled: “Court gives ‘devout’ bigots the blessing to discriminate.” For clarity, I looked up the word “bigot.” Webster defines it as “a person who is obstinately or intolerably devoted to his or her own opinion or prejudice.”

Believing God isn’t just an opinion—it has long been a right for everyone in our country. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Multiple printing companies are available to make wedding invitations for any couple. And numerous bakers, florists, etc. focus on weddings and would appreciate same-sex couples’ business. People wanting these services could simply go someplace else. What is the purpose of targeting businesses that believe the Bible’s definition of marriage and trying to force them to violate their conscience?

In Mr. Montini’s article, he said “heterosexuals only” is the same as “whites only.” But it is not. The Bible makes no distinction between whites, blacks, browns or any other color or nationality of people. All are equal in God’s sight. But the Bible is clear concerning the practice of homosexuality and gay marriage. However, the studio owners did not say "heterosexuals only." They would have allowed the gay couple to purchase any pre-printed items; they just didn't want to "create" something they didn't believe in.

What kind of nation have we become? What were our forefathers thinking when they declared we were not to prohibit the free exercise of religion? Could they have foreseen the battle between personal freedoms and those who would force others to accommodate them and disregard their own convictions?

Biblical values used to drive this nation. Now religious freedom has taken a back seat and is in danger of being shoved out the door. Shall we obey man or God who created man?

Footnotes:
[1] https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/case-details/brush-nib-studio-v.-city-of-phoenix
[2] Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:24

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My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.

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