Small-town America is becoming an easy target for those who choose special status in non-discrimination ordinances over tolerance and the first amendment.
Government officials across Pennsylvania should never force local businesses to close because of how their beliefs influence their day-to-day operations.
“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives” (Ronald Reagan). A Christian’s first duty is to honor God’s commandments. It should never be the “price of citizenship” to have to sacrifice one’s Christian faith to appease an intolerant demand by the government.
Sadly we are witnessing too many families being forced to pay a steep price for religious conviction:
- A family in rural New York chose not to host a same-sex wedding ceremony on their home property and were forced to pay $13,000 (resulting in the laying off of one full-time employee and shutting down all ceremony services).
- A recent college graduate was fined $7,000 and banished from the wedding business for choosing not to be a part of a same-sex commitment ceremony that violates the commandments of her faith.
- A small-town florist for over three decades serves a same-sex couple flowers for years. But now she’s being sued by them – both professionally and personally – for not being able to provide a wedding arrangement for their ceremony. She’s facing the loss of her business and home all because of living out her faith.
And here in Pennsylvania, small towns are considering action that would make criminals out of local business owners for just trying to do business as they believe best.
For instance, Bloomsburg Town Council is considering an ordinance that would make a former nurse, now wedding dress boutique owner a criminal. All because she was unable to provide a service for a same-sex wedding ceremony.
Pennsylvania is unique among the states in our heritage of religious freedom. Many of our business owners are compelled to live out their faith in the workplace and to not conform their beliefs – and rightly so. No one should be put out of business for believing in the value of traditional marriage.
So here are some ways you can help stand up for religious freedom:
- Tell your State Representative and Senator – “Tolerance is a two-way street. Do not support bills like House Bill 300 & Senate Bill 300 that would create special status for sexual orientation & gender identity.”
- Encourage citizens of Bloomsburg to talk with friends and neighbors about supporting tolerance by not passing the proposed ordinance.