I’ll keep this one relatively short; it’s just a question.
Is there a religion that says its members must/should deny goods or services to homosexuals (or anyone else)?
This question arises from the (now-vetoed) bill in Arizona, which would have granted the legal right for businesspersons to deny service to a gay couple if they held a “sincere” religious conviction about it. Most of the discussion in the news centered around whether the law was constitutional or discriminatory, but I think mine is a relevant question too.
I’ll admit not being familiar with most religions of the world — just Christianity. But I’ll claim more Biblical knowledge than the average self-titled Christian. The Bible does not advocate denying goods or services to Homosexuals.
Homosexuality isn’t mentioned often in the Bible, but it’s universally derided. The Old Testament is pretty clear that anyone participating in it should be killed outright.
The New Testament is a little more forgiving, saying they won’t go to Heaven but that they can be forgiven and sanctified just like any other sinner (I Cor. 6:9-11). Another passage says that God’s law is for them (I Timothy 1:9-11).
Romans 1 says they “deserve to die”, but homosexuality is merely one sin in a long list — including gossiping and disobeying your parents — all of which are worthy of death. The book of Romans goes on to note that “all have sinned” and that all can repent and be saved. Throughout the epistle, all sins are grouped together; none is worse than the other.
James 4:12 clarifies: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you — who are you to judge your neighbor?”
Matthew mentions that principle as well: “Judge not, that you be not judged”.
And I Cor. 5:12-13 explains further: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? … God will judge those outside.”
There’s no question that the Bible (and thus Christianity) is completely opposed to the practice of homosexuality, but I also cannot find any place where it advocates what the Arizona bill wanted. If there is a religion that does, I’d like to know about it. If not, why was the bill claiming “religious freedom”?
EDITED TO ADD, 2014.02.28:
In my next entry, I talk more about the alleged right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.