Indiana Governor Mike Pence has scheduled a quiet signing ceremony for a law that codifies hate wrapped in the mantle of "religious freedom," but at least one denomination is offended by it.
The leaders of the Disciples of Christ church sent a letter to Pence telling him they would be forced to reconsider holding their 2017 convention in Indianapolis.
Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find RFRA contrary to the values of our faith – as well as to our national and Hoosier values. Our nation and state are strong when we welcome people of many backgrounds and points of view. The free and robust exchange of ideas is part of what makes our democracy great.
As a Christian church, we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow – one who sat at table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table. Our members and assembly-goers are of different races and ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. They have in common that they love Jesus and seek to follow him.
We are particularly distressed at the thought that, should RFRA be signed into law, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses – might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.
Speaking more bluntly to the Indianapolis Star, associate general minister Todd Adams said, "Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry."
Can I hear an AMEN?