You may not remember this, because it all started way back in 2001, but an important test case just resolved itself up in Rhode Island.
Back in 2001, two Christian Firefighters were forced to participate in a sodomite parade that took place in Providence, Rhode Island. The two firemen asked for reassignment based on their religious beliefs and were promptly denied by their superiors. After some time and receiving legal advice, they decided to sue both the mayor and the fire chief of Providence.
The firefighters are both Roman Catholic, and as such, are opposed to the glorification of the homosexual lifestyle. They also argued that by taking part in the parade they were subjected to sexual harassment from parade-attendees as well as their co-workers.
However, the Judge in the case apparently disagreed. Because after more than 10 years of litigation, he has decided to dismiss their case.
Justice William Robinson, writing for all five members of the high court this month, said the men appeared in the 2001 parade as public servants who were “relatively anonymous.” He called it a legitimate work assignment.
“The respondents’ appearance in the parade, solely as members of the Providence Fire Department, did not constitute a form of expression on their part. Rather, it was simply the accomplishing of a task assigned to an engine company of the Providence Fire Department,” Robinson wrote.
While taking part in a city-endorsed parade may be part of the tasks assigned to an engine company, it is unfathomable to believe that the city can force employees to operate contrary to their religious beliefs.
The state cannot force Christians to accept as moral and right what the Bible and 4000 years of Judeo-Christian teaching have taught us is wrong. It would be perfectly reasonable, and easily adjudicated, for a Jewish fireman to refuse to participate in a Christmas parade. Or for a Muslim Fireman to beg off of a Bacon Festival Parade.
It should also be reasonable for those who are morally opposed to the celebration of homosexuality to ask not to be forced to participate in a Gay Parade.
What the judge in this case has done is set a precedent saying that government employees can be forced to participate in events that run counter to their morality and even their religion. Christians who happen to be employed by the government no longer have the right to cling to the First Amendment. Not only is this a miscarriage of justice, but it is also a blow to religious freedom for all Americans.
Editor’s Note: This is an issue of conscience. As Peter and John openly declared when told not to preach in the name of Jesus of Nazareth:
“We ought to obey God rather than men.”
I hope these firefighters will remember that and inform the judge that they will not be following his “opinion,” but rather the commands of God.
Additionally, I would hope they would seek the representation of Alliance Defending Freedom or Liberty Counsel, and read Matt Barber’s timely article on fighting lawfully against the degenerates seeks to bring Christians to compromise.