Persecution doesn’t begin with violence.
It begins with verbal insult, moves to legal prohibitions, which lead to pushing groups out of the mainstream of society and ends up at violent persecution.
Christians all over the world appear to be somewhere on that continuum. Here in the West, Christians have endured verbal insult for quite some time. This has risen to publicly tolerated hate speech and a media that will not report stories about Christians, however positive, without adding some negative twist to them, even if it’s just the reporter’s opinion.
In the past few years, laws that were enacted for other purposes are being used to force Christians to either violate their faith or limit their activities in public life. At this juncture, these laws are aimed at Christian businesses and Christians in the workplace. I predict they will move to limiting the activities of individual Christians within a few years.
The HHS Mandate is one of the most broad examples of this, attacking as it did the entire Roman Catholic Church in America. It is a blatant attempt to destroy Christianity by using government force to make it abandon its teachings.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull, an elderly couple who live in Cornwall in Great Britain, found themselves embroiled in legal persecution for their beliefs. The Bulls own a bed and breakfast, which is also their home. They have a long-standing policy of not renting rooms to either homosexual couples or to heterosexual couples who are unmarried. They accepted a reservation for a Mr and Mrs Priddy, but when the couple showed up it was two men. The Bulls’ employee who was in charge at that time refused to rent them a room.
Instead of going to another inn, the homosexual couple filed suit. The suit wound its way through the legal system, and the Bulls lost. They were forced under government penalty had to either violate their faith or close their business. Their legal counsel suggested that rather than close their business they should reformulate it as a Christian-only non-profit, which they have opted to do.
Problem solved, right?
I don’t think so.
In fact I view this as a successful next step in Christian persecution. This kind of solution is what i was referring to when I spoke of ghettoizing Christians. The message here — and it appears to be pretty direct — is that practicing Christians must either violate their faith or withdraw from the wider public world into a narrower all-Christian world to protect themselves.
This is legal discrimination of an overt and rather ugly sort. It is also the next step on the continuum toward systematized legal discrimination against Christians in the West.
An article from this is Cornwall describing the situation says in part:
THE CHRISTIAN owners of a Marazion guesthouse who were taken to court after they refused a gay couple a double room will now legally be allowed to turn away unmarried straight and gay couples.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull have changed the status of the Chymorvah guesthouse to a not-for-profit company, allowing them to specify that anyone staying with them should abide by their Bible-based beliefs.
Mr and Mrs Bull, who have run the guesthouse for 27 years, were later ordered to pay £3,600 in damages to the couple and their civil case has been the subject of endless media speculation.
Since then, the guesthouse owners have appealed against the decision in the Court of Appeal, which they lost, and are now set to have the case heard in the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, Mrs Bull said they wanted to be able to continue with their policy of not allowing unmarried heterosexual couples and homosexual couples to share a double bed under their roof.
Mrs Bull said: “The Christian Institute advised us on how to form a limited company, which we were able to do by stating in the articles of the company that anyone coming to stay here would be expected to abide by our Bible-based beliefs.
“When we had the trial, there were a number of local B&Bs who said, ‘we are watching this very closely because we want to be able to say no sometimes’, not necessarily to that particular group of people but just on certain occasions.”