I read this disturbing news report last night from 9News in Denver:
Denver City Council has intervened to stall a lease for a Chick-fil-A restaurant at Denver International Airport, citing that the owners of the restaurant chain have a reputation for opposing same-sex marriage. In light of the recent federal decision on same-sex marriage from the Supreme Court, it would seem that entities, perhaps even individuals, who previously opposed same-sex marriage must either get on board with it, or face consequences such as being deemed discriminatory – and face whatever consequences come along with that.
As a pastor, my thoughts immediately jump to the many churches which lease space from public schools, or who rent out space in public parks or amphitheaters. It seems to me that it is only a matter of time before people start to take issue with it, as they have with DIA. Remember – it’s not DIA itself who is opposing the opening of a Chick-fil-A in the airport, it is Denver City Council! What about churches who meet in Denver Public Schools, whose bylaws state that they believe that only men can be pastors? Does that constitute a “discriminatory hiring practice”? How long will it be before some crusading council members turn their attention to these organizations?
I do believe that if discrimination or persecution does begin to ramp up against Christians, it won’t be the worst thing that could ever happen to us. It’s happened before, and it has only served to strengthen and purify the church. However, it may be wise for churches who rent to be aware of the changing political climate and start making plans now for the future.