Faith leaders call on in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case: ‘[H]eed God’s call and stand on the side of love and inclusion’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2017
Contact: Aimee Thunberg ([email protected])

 

Faith leaders call on in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case: ‘[H]eed God’s call and stand on the side of love and inclusion’

Statement of Auburn Seminary Senior Vice President the Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

NEW YORK — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court’s will hear oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, as they consider whether business owners with religious objections must provide wedding services to same-sex couples. Auburn Seminary Senior Vice President the Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush issued the following statement on the issue:

“Religious freedom is a foundational principle of our country; we all can and should hold it sacred. The right of any person to believe (or not) and worship (or not) anything they want is embedded in the basic DNA of our country. But when one person’s religious beliefs turn into actions that trample on the dignity and rights of another, ‘freedom of religion’ morphs into deified discrimination. Unfortunately, our country has a long history of people using religion to legitimize abhorrent and blasphemous treatment of others — and we are seeing it again in the case in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“Religious freedom has become the rallying cry of a largely white, Christian political force who recently roared with approval when President Trump claimed evangelicals ‘are under siege.’ Of course, what is really meant by being ‘under siege’ is the fear of being required by law to respect the freedom of others as equal to their own and losing a privileged status that Christians (and white people) have enjoyed for much of our nation’s history. LGBT pride, to me, is intimately tied into my own understandings of religious liberty as a gay father, husband and pastor.  There is no reason why the arbitrary religious beliefs of anyone else should trump my own. More and more religious leaders and communities are coming to consensus that LGBT people are part of God’s beloved family, and those who would denigrate me and my family must not be allowed to hijak faith as a cover for bigotry.

“The highest court in the land should uphold the rights and humanity of LGBT couples — including our right to access the public accommodations. Clergy across all faiths should join the growing chorus of faithful voices in opposition to efforts to discriminate and subordinate others in the name of God.

“What we are witnessing now in America is a deep division within religion itself. Each of us is challenged to heed God’s call and stand on the side of love and inclusion.”

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Auburn Seminary identifies and strengthens leaders — from the pulpit to the public square — to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice and heal the world.

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