Thanksgiving is a time when millions of Americans come together to celebrate cherished, time-honored traditions: gathering with those we hold most dear, scarfing down unhealthily large meals, and of course, arguing with loved ones. For instance, let’s say you are sitting at the dinner table, eating delicious stuffing and having a pleasant conversation about The Hunger Games, when suddenly your conservative Christian uncle launches into the following rant:
I’m telling you, the “homosexual agenda” is coming after religious freedom in this country. Did you hear about that Christian florist who is being sued for not selling flowers to a gay couple? Next thing you know, they’ll be forcing pastors to perform gay weddings. I mean, anyone who reads the Bible knows that you can’t be a Christian and support homosexuality.
Okay, that’s a lot. But don’t panic — we’ve got you covered. Here are a few bits of info (including some biblical arguments) you can use to respond to your evangelical uncle’s diatribe:
Claims that “religious liberty” is under attack in America are overblown, although the refrain is likely to be repeated ad nauseam by many religious conservatives over the next few years. Many “religious liberty” advocates cheered the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, for instance, where judges ruled that the craft store giant could be granted religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. But despite assertions that the ruling protected all religious groups, a substantial majority of almost every major U.S. Christian group actually disagreed with Hobby Lobby’s position. What’s more, the decision arguably hurt people of faith overall, because it only privileged the religious views of people who own and operate corporations — and not the faiths of their employees.