By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
It’s well documented that courts in the United States (including the highest court in the land) have not been very favorable to Christians and/or Christian-based beliefs when rendering verdicts in recent months.
The best example occurred slightly more than a year ago when the Supreme Court took the biblical definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman and redefined it to satisfy gay activists.
Whereas religious liberty used to be considered a given in our nation, it no longer can be taken for granted. In fact, there are documented cases where religious liberty has been stripped from citizens of this great country.
Just ask the Christian baker who was sued because he refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple or the florist who did not want to use her floral talents for a same-sex wedding.
In a case close to home (Tennessee), who can forget the story of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who was ordered to issue same-sex marriage licenses though she said that was in violation of her religious rights as guaranteed by the First Amendment. She defied a court order and later was jailed for refusing to issue the licenses. She was released after five days with orders not to interfere with her deputy clerks who were issuing the licenses.
Those are just a few examples. There are other examples and probably many more to come.
The Detroit Metro News and other news outlets, including Associated Press and ABC News, reported last week that a Muslim airline stewardess (Charee Stanley) is suing ExpressJet Airlines because they suspended her for refusing to serve alcoholic beverages during a flight. According to the Detroit Metro News article, Muslims not only are forbidden to drink alcohol, they also are not allowed to serve it to others.
According to reports, the airline allowed Stanley to ask her fellow flight attendant to attend to the customers who requested alcohol. But when that flight attendant switched with another, her new colleague complained and the airline placed Stanley on administrative leave for a year.
The lawsuit for Stanley, filed by the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), claims the airline did not accommodate her religious beliefs.
This is a case Christians need to monitor. If the court rules in favor of the Muslim stewardess and agrees that her religious rights were violated, Christians certainly have a right to question why the law applies to other religions, but not Christianity.
Some will claim I am not comparing apples to apples, but religious liberty should be religious liberty. If a Muslim does not have to serve alcohol even though the job demands it, then why should a Christian have to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple? Religious liberty is religious liberty, isn’t it?
Maybe or maybe not, depending on which judge or jury hears a particular case. Too many judicial decisions today are made on personal preferences or whims and are not truly based on the law.
Continue to pray for our country and for leaders in all areas of the political and judicial process to step up and do what is right. We need it today more than ever before in our history.