Benjamin Corey has a great piece on how President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination is not itself discrimination. I agree with his assessment; this is not an issue of Christians being discriminated against. No one is telling individual Christians what to think or ordering the Church to redefine their theology. Nothing like that is happening. What is happening is that businesses and non-profits that accept federal money must abide by federal guidelines and that means they cannot fire LGBTQ people for being gay. One would think this would be self-obvious to Christians, but evidently it is not. The only thing this executive order will do is tell federally-funded employers that they must hire on the basis of merit alone, and can only fire for job-related behavior, not identity.
Conservative Christians object on the basis that they might be contaminated by the sin of those evil gay sinners out there, but the real reason they are upset is because they are losing their privileged status. Ever since Constantine the Church has had certain privilege and special consideration under the law. They got asked to all the fancy parties and held the ears of kings and emperors. This period of Church history is at an end and the Church, now accustomed to a certain lifestyle for the last sixteen centuries, is freaking out because there are other factions now being invited to the same parties.
In my view, the Church in the west really needs to do some soul-searching as to whether they’re really being persecuted or whether they’re just losing their exclusive rights to certain legal perks. It is pretty clearly the latter.