Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pizza Christian says "No pizza for YOU

Remember Seinfeld’s  “soup Nazi”? Kramer recommends a new soup restaurant but warns Jerry and Elaine about the owner. He’s called the “soup Nazi” for good reason. If he doesn’t like something about you he shouts at you, “No soup for you.”

Indiana has its version of the “soup Nazi.” Theirs is the “pizza Christian.” Answering a reporter’s question after Indiana’s fiasco over the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” Crystal O'Connor of Memories Pizza told him, If gay couples come in and wanted us to provide them pizzas for a wedding, we would have to say 'no.” Why? Because, she said, hers is a "Christian establishment.”

“Are you gay or lesbian?” Answer “yes.” The pizza Christian cries, “There’s no pizza for you!”

The “soup Nazi” was arbitrary. He denied customers a bowl of soup on a whim. Not the “pizza Christian.” She has her own Biblically based authority. She’ll only deny a customer a slice of pizza if the customer is a sinner. And the Bible says gays are sinners. “No pizza for you!”

How does she know who the sinners are? Her Bible tells her so. In 1st Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul thoughtfully created a checklist for pizza merchants. “Don’t you know the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God,” asked Paul. “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

But a “pizza Christian” can’t pick and choose which sinners are unworthy of a slice. That’s why there’s a list. To avoid being accused of discriminating against homosexuals, she should conduct a searching inquiry to determine whether the customer is anywhere on Paul’s list. “Are you an idolater?” If the answer’s “no,” go to the next item. “Are you an adulterer?” If the answer is “yes,” there’s “no pizza for you.” If you admit to being a thief, or greedy, or a drunkard, a reviler, or a swindler, there should be “no pizza for you.”

She wouldn’t want to be reminded of the story of the adulteress brought to the city center for stoning. The woman was guilty under the scripture and the penalty was stoning. Jesus didn’t tell the crowd not to stone her. He just made a suggestion that only those without sin should participate. For Jesus, it wasn’t about the sin. It was about human dignity.

Imaging Jesus saying to the “pizza Christian” and her followers, “He who is without sin may eat the first slice.” It’s not like we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of the “pizza Christian.”

However, the “pizza Christian” isn’t interested in the broad definition of sin. She doesn’t need to run through Paul’s entire list. She wouldn’t sell much pizza that way. She does quality control on God’s behalf on only one issue. Idolaters, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers can order whatever kind of pizza they like with any of their favorite toppings. But it’s against her deeply held religious beliefs to sell a slice of her heavenly pizza to homosexuals. Other Bible-believing-businesses may or may not choose to enforce the Apostle’s entire list. As for the “pizza Christian,” she’s only interested in how you have sex or with whom you have it.

Her ancestors were much more interested in the color of a customer’s skin and their national origin. No preacher, including the meddler from Nazareth, ever convinced them that such “religious beliefs” were contrary to that Gospel manifesto about loving your neighbor as yourself. It was the Civil Right Act of 1964, not the Sermon on the Mount, which eventually changed their way of doing business.

Curiously the “pizza Christian” and her disciples don’t recognize the irony here. They shamelessly claim a religious-belief exception so that they can impose a decidedly unbiblical belief in order to justify stripping paying customers of their human dignity. Regardless my homosexual friends, it’s “No pizza for you!”

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