While Christians seem to be losing ground in terms of constitutional rights, two North Carolina pastors are making a statement about it.
A New Mexico photographer sanctioned for refusing a lesbian wedding, cake bakers and florists punished for the same reason – all because they refused to violate their religious beliefs about natural marriage. Pastor Rit Varriale of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, suggests a response.
"When you drive around you see ... churches that have the Christian flag flying, but the American flag is above the Christian flag – and really that's a statement of why things are the way they are," he tells OneNewsNow. "... [W]e've demonstrated more allegiance to statehood than to the notions of Christianity when there's nothing unconstitutional at all about standing up for our Christian beliefs."
He argues that Christians are losing their religious freedoms because they aren't standing for their faith.
"When you have Christian bakers being sued under the guise of anti-discrimination laws because they don't want to bake a cake for an LGBT ceremony, that is absolutely a violation of religious beliefs," says the pastor.
"So the tension between individual rights – particularly LGBT rights – when they collide with religious rights and what we're seeing from the courts, religious rights are going to lose every time."
As of Sunday, July 5, Elizabeth Baptist Church is flying both flags – with the Christian flag above the American flag. According to The Blaze, another church in Shelby – Focus Missionary Baptist Church – is doing the same. Varriale is asking churches nationwide to follow suit.
According to USFlag.org, that arrangement would be contrary to established etiquette for displaying the American flag outdoors.