Vows are tricky, and sometimes difficult to adhere to. Vows should be taken seriously, and entered into with a sober mind knowing full well that there will be times where a vow can be spread out on the table of ethics to be confronted and explored. As a cleric and a Christian, I have taken two vows, one of them found within our (The Episcopal Church’s) Baptismal Covenant, and the other vow affirmed and agreed to at my ordination as Deacon. My Baptismal Vows I affirm each time a person enters into communion with the Church. We are asked this question, “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” The response is, “I will, with God’s help.” A similar, yet different vow occurs during ordination when the bishop asks the ordinand, “Will you look for Christ in all others, being ready to help and serve those in need?” The response is similar, yet different, “I will.”

And then came Arizona.

The bill (SB1062) allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination. It also allows the business or person to seek an injunction once they show their actions are based on a sincere religious belief and the claim places a burden on the exercise of their religion. (Christian Science Monitor)

It’s very difficult to look for Christ in all persons when those claiming to be followers of Christ site religion as a means to deny others services or goods. Anyone with a smattering of biblical knowledge would probably know that Jesus was forever getting into trouble breaking religious rules of his day, eating with sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes. I would venture to say that most people would know that Jesus championed the dignity of the poor, the outcast, and the persecuted. Few, however, might understand that Jesus was executed by the State as a subversive. Read More »