Idaho city tells pastors: Celebrate gay weddings or face fines and jail time

Celebrate gay weddings or face fines and jail time

Bakers, photographers and florists are being forced to shut down their businesses unless they accede to demands that they join in the celebration of gay “marriages,” but so far no one has faced jail time for putting commitment to the Word of God ahead of the demands of homosexuals and their cultural champions.

Until now. A couple in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho who own a wedding chapel there declined the request of a gay couple that they perform their “wedding.” They couple did what gay couples seem to do a lot in these situations. They didn’t just go find someone else. They complained to authorities, who are now threatening to throw the pastors in jail. That’s how out of control this has gotten:

The Idaho case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, both ordained ministers, who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel. Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.


The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.


On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

Note how the secular left is trying to create a facsimile of the civil rights movement in turning these pastors into criminals, and doing so very disingenuously. First, of course, they’re trying to make gay people the equivalent of black people, and trying to say the “discrimination” against the former is exactly the same as that practiced against the latter two generations ago. That is total nonsense. Anti-black bigotry was (and to the extent it still exists, still is) based on complete ignorance that looks at the color of a person’s skin – a completely irrelevant matter – and passes a judgment against that person. Those who object to homosexuality are objecting to behavior, not appearance, and the objection is Bible-based.

Christian who believes homosexual sex is an abomination in the eyes of God cannot perform a gay wedding ceremony, without compromising his or her devotion to God

(I know there are secularists who will try to say old-time racists used the Bible to justify their bigotry, and it’s true that over time people have often clung to flimsy readings of Scripture to justify things. But there was never any mainstream acceptance among serious biblical scholars or pastors of such justifications. And you can read from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, and any sort of support for anti-black racism simply can’t be found. By contrast, you can’t get any clearer than 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 when it comes to homosexuality.)

Perhaps the more insidious tactic, though, is the misuse of the notion of “public accommodations.” Back in the civil rights era, blacks were being denied access to basic accommodations like places to eat, or places to get a drink of water – things that are staples of the needs of every human being. It wasn’t right to deny these things to anyone. It wouldn’t be right to deny them to homosexuals, either.

The situations we’re talking about today are entirely different. Bakers, florists, photographers and ministers provide services in which they actively participate and join in the celebration of the wedding ceremony. This goes way beyond accommodating your basic human need to get something to eat or to drink. It relates specifically to the behavior and lifestyle of the homosexual, and demands that the service provider actively endorse and help facilitate that behavior.

The Christian who believes homosexual sex is an abomination in the eyes of God cannot perform a gay wedding ceremony, or take photos of Bob and Gary, or write “Congratulations Anna and Shirley” on a cake without compromising his or her devotion to God. That is not the same thing as making them sandwiches.

The left wants the state to use the notion of “public accommodations” to force business owners to do things that directly violate their faith. The state is complying.

The idea that we’ve now reached the point where a city is prepared to put these folks in jail for refusing to take part in this travesty shows that we’ve passed the point where we were merely dealing with a cultural fad. We’re looking at full-on fascism here. If you are risking jail, not because you did anything to anyone, but because you refused someone else’s demand that you provide a service that is anathema to your faith – then we have a new civil rights crisis in this nation, and homosexuals are not the ones with the problem at all.

Written by Dan Calabrese.

One Comment:

  1. Jeanette Halverson

    For starters our COUNTRY THE LAND OF THE FREE HOME OF THE BRAVE was & is based on JUDEO CHRISTIAN VALUES, with that being said I am a TRUE CHRISTIAN, in our AMERICAN PATRIOTS BIBLE & all other bibles it states that it is an Abomination for the same sex to be with the same sex. I will always fight with all of my HEART & SOUL to always keep GOD, our HEAVENLY FATHER in our COUNTRY. It seems like every time i turn around there is some evil person who is trying really hard to remove GOD out of our COUNTRY. I am one of many of GODS CHILDREN, i refuse to stop fighting for GOD. All of us need to keep up the good fight so that GOD is never ever taken out of any of his COUNTRIES. Besides the fact that GOD put our FOUNDERS HIS CHILDREN IN PLACE so that we GODS children never lose any of our GOD GIVEN CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. I turned my life over to CHRIST approximately 6 years ago, i cant remember exactly how long ago. But I will state this , for the last 2 years & 12 days ago I started getting beyond excruciating chest pain, my whole point is that if I did not have GOD MY FATHER in my life than i would be worse off. GOD has & will always keep me safe. Please all that I ask is that to never ever stop fighting for GOD. I am so very thankful for all the GREAT FREEDOMS THAT I HAVE BECAUSE OF GOD. LOVE YOU FATHER. GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY.

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