Letter to the Editor

Submitted by Wayne Helmer

There has been a fair amount of misinformation recently about the Arkansas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and “discrimination.” The real discrimination is not against the GLBT population but rather against Christians and people of faith.

Consider the following:

* Don and Evelyn Knapp own a wedding chapel in Idaho. They respectfully refused to perform homosexual “weddings” due to religious reasons. The city issued a 180-day jail sentence and a $1,000-per-day fine for every day they refuse to perform such weddings.

* Baronelle Stutzman owns a florist shop in Richland, Wash. She served a homosexual couple for many years but declined to provide a floral arrangement for their “wedding” based on her religious conscience. The state of Washington attorney general determined that she is now has to pay fines and may lose her business, her home and her retirement for her “intolerance.”

* Elaine Huguenin had a photography business in New Mexico. She was asked to provide photo services for a same-sex “commitment” ceremony (New Mexico does not recognize same-sex marriage). She also declined for religious reasons. Thus, she was fined $,7000 by the state of New Mexico. In the ruling, the New Mexico Supreme Court said participating in the ceremony, whether she agreed or not, was her “price for citizenship.”

* In January, a 30-year veteran Atlanta fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was fired from his position for self-publishing a Bible study book — one page dealt with homosexuality.

There are many other examples.

The GLBT movement preaches tolerance and inclusion, but for them it is a one-way street. Their message is: “Christians must surrender to our movement and mandates or we will have the government fine them and/or put them out of business.”

Welcome to the New Intolerance.

People of faith should not be bullied by the government to compromise their faith or lose their livelihood. This is why we need a strong, state RFRA.