Coeur d’Alene to Ministers: Marry Homosexuals or Go to Jail

Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order on the behalf of Christian ministers who were ordered by the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies or face what could be years in jail.

Donald Knapp and his wife, Evelyn, are both ordained ministers in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. They are evangelical Christians who believe God established marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The Knapps, who have been married for 47 years, run the Hitching Post Lakeside Chapel, which is situated across the street from the Kootenai County Clerk’s Office, where homosexuals can obtain a marriage license.

The Knapps
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The Knapps were told, first privately then publicly, that they would violate the city’s “non-discrimination” ordinance if they were to refuse to marry homosexual couples.

As expected, a queer couple showed up asking to be married, and the Knapps politely refused. Now they are facing up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines for every day they refuse to marry homosexuals.

That’s about three and a half years of jail time for just one week of practicing Christian beliefs.

The Knapps of course aren’t the only Christian couple facing government coercion to accept homosexual marriage. We’ve all read about bakers and dress makers and seemingly anyone connected to the wedding business being threatened with fines, loss of their business and even jail time.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly.”

A nationwide effort by governments and radical leftist activists to bury Christianity and eliminate its influence on American society has been ongoing for generations.

The issue of homosexual marriage, however, is a blatant anti-Christian tool. It has been so from the beginning and becomes more so by the day. Far from being about “marriage equality,” it’s simply one grand legal maneuver to achieve exactly what is happening to the Knapps and other Christians just like them.

The anti-Christian campaign is finally expanding into full-blown persecution, in which the state bullies Christians into essentially converting to whatever secular version of religion the state deems acceptable.

The people behind this movement are morally no better than the barbarians of ISIS who behead Christians. In fact, they could be even lower than the ISIS scum because at least the Islamists come right out and admit that they hate Christians for their religion.

This is usually the point where the Left starts misquoting some Bible verses half-remembered from childhood about love or some fluffy take on the New Testament.

While Jesus did say turn the other cheek, he never said turn a blind eye. While we can forgive personal sleights, the homosexual marriage crowd has made this issue about so much more than any individual. It’s about our American Christian culture. It’s about our communities and our country. And it’s about our children, who are facing a future in which marriage will become more and more a vanishing institution.

By allowing homosexual marriages equal legal status with real marriages, the courts and legislatures of this land have declared that marriage really is about nothing more than sex and government benefits. An institution that once existed for the social purpose of giving birth to and raising the next generation of citizens is now about nothing because it can mean anything that anyone wants to sue over.

Part of this destruction of marriage is the destruction of Judeo-Christianity because biblical Christians, who know that marriage is only between a man and a woman, stand in the way of the Left’s vision of a socialist utopia, which more resembles a Hieronymous Bosch nightmare.

Christians of this era would do well to take to heart the words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. …”


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