The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear a case from New Mexico where a photographer was sued and fined over her refusal to take pictures of a gay wedding.
Our society is quickly moving from allowing homosexuals to marry to requiring everyone in society to support these marriages–overriding all objections of morality or conscience or free speech.
The last few years we have seen photographers, florists, and other associated with weddings refuse to use their artistry to support these ceremonies, and get sued.
In all cases, the parties were easily able to find an alternative provider to perform these services.
So where does that leave a businessperson, an artist, or anyone else whose conscience tells them it is wrong to be a party to such ceremonies?
It leaves us in the position of suffering for the sake of conscience.
The truth is nobody can force us to violate our conscience.
They can take away our money. They can take away our property. They can even take away our lives.
In the case where the laws and courts refuse to provide relief, the individual always has the ability to quietly defy and refuse to be coerced into performing an offending requirement.
And entire groups, as well, can adopt this approach to uphold their conscience and their shared moral views under assault.
What would this look like?
First, those artists and business people of conscience could continue to graciously decline to participate in these ceremonies. And if sued, refuse to back down. If fined, refuse to pay. If jailed, stay there and contribute to massive overcrowding.
Second, many, many more such individuals could be recruited to defy these laws and openly announce their convictions for all the world to see.
Which, of course, will generate far more complaints and suits in far more places.
Then the authorities, being defied, over-react.
The consequences escalate to the point of ridiculousness and viciousness–exposing the real agenda behind those attempting to force or require compliance.
No matter what they say or do or threaten or require, we just don’t do what they want and keep on not doing it.
And when enough people do that in enough places in spite of all consequences, the system gets overwhelmed and reasonable people start to question if it’s worth all this conflict to require people to violate their conscience.
The key is massive civil disobedience where many share this load–not just an isolated few individuals to bear all the weight of the law.
And if enough people refuse compliance long enough to the point where society gets sick and tired of it, then that’s when laws change and space is created for dissenters of good conscience to live in peace.
The other approach is this: mass withdrawal and non-participation in the system.
We who believe in truly Christian, Christ-and-the Church modelling, male-female marriages stop registering them at the county clerk on a massive scale.
We still have our church ceremonies, but don’t buy into the newly redefined brand of marriage society is now requiring us to embrace.
We drop out of the system entirely, in other words.
Neither pastors nor participants in our ceremonies obtain marriage licenses, sign them, or file them with the county clerks.
The State finds it impossible to track marriages and know who is married or not, collapsing the system.
Then they come to the negotiating table and work for a settlement.
Here’s the settlement I would propose:
Get the government out of the marriage business entirely!
The government could have a Civil List of people in committed relationships, with various check-boxes to indicate what kind of relationship they are registering.
One of those boxes would be exclusively for people who still believe in the male-female, historic morality, Christian view of marriage.
We self-identify as such, without having to identify ourselves with those who advocate or practice diametrically opposite views as ours.
It allows room in a pagan society for many, many views and types of committed relationships without requiring anyone to identify with any, some, or all of them.
So why not?