Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the case against Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who spent time in jail for refusing to sign same-sex mirage certificates.
Why wouldn't she sign them? She's a Christian, a fairly new convert, and she understood that by placing her name on those certificates she would be tacitly approving of SSM, something no Christian can do.
She had asked for accommodation for her faith, and was refused; the judge found her in contempt of court and jailed her because, in paraphrase of his words, a monetary punishment would not be enough to force her to obey (emphasis mine) his order. And then, once she was incarcerated, he authorized (some say 'bullied') deputy clerks to sign the certificates in her stead.
Something which could – and should – have been done in the first place, as Michelle Davis, writing at Allen West's site, points out.
In about AD 112, the Roman governor of the province of Bithynia and Pontus – Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (also known as Pliny the younger) – wrote to the Emperor Trajan. He had a bad case of Christians, and wanted to know what to do with the practitioners of the illegal sect.
Trajan's response was this:
You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. (emphasis mine)Sound familiar? Renounce your beliefs and prove it by burning some incense to the gods and you won't be punished.
Renounce your beliefs and prove it by signing these SSM certificates and you won't be punished.
Ms Davis refused to burn the incense; the Christian bakers, florists, photographers, B&B owners, and others refused also.
And they were punished.
Ms Davis' punishment ought to be a wake-up call to practicing Christians everywhere: persecution will increase.
And this is all far from over.