- The Washington Times - Friday, June 8, 2018

Dear Mr. Jeff Amyx: Tear down this sign.

Amyx, a Baptist minister and the owner of a Tennessee hardware store, has reportedly decided to celebrate the Supreme Court’s recent ruling regarding a cake baker who refused creative service to a gay couple by putting up this sign in the front window: “No Gays Allowed.”

He shouldn’t. No self-proclaimed Christian should do such a thing.

Here’s the backstory — even as admittedly, there’s a bit of discrepancy among media outlets about when this sign was posted and how long it’s stood.

Amyx first put the sign up in 2015 in response to the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage. But facing massive backlash, he removed it and replaced it with this message, according to USA Today: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion.”

Amyx says he put back the original “No Gays Allowed” sign just a couple days later, WBIR reported.

Other media outlets reported this week that he just put it back up, in response to the court ruling on the Colorado baker.

Either way, the “No Gays Allowed” message seems to be up and once again, rocking national headlines. And either way, Amyx should remove it, pronto. And this time, rip it, shred it, burn it and throw the ashes in the dumpster.

Amyx, however, defends his sign.

“Christianity is under attack,” he said, WBIR reported. “This is a great win, don’t get me wrong, but this is not the end. This is just the beginning. Right now, we’re seeing a ray of sunshine. This is ‘happy days’ for Christians all over America, but dark days will come.”

Agree, disagree, let’s be clear: Amyx has a constitutional and God-given right to express his views as he sees fit, for the most part, anyway. The government, in other words, shouldn’t have the right to force Amyx to remove the sign.

But shame on him.

Let’s be even clearer: Christians, citing the Bible, say homosexuality is a sin. So do Jews reading the Torah and Muslims believing the Koran, by the way.

But unlike Islam — which calls for the punishment and persecution, to include killing, of homosexuals — Christianity calls for love, compassion, forgiveness, friendship and so forth and so on. For all, not just a select few. 

For all.

Love the sinner, hate the sin, right? In other words, Christians: It’s OK to befriend, and even be friends with, gay people. They’re — get this — people.

Amyx, being a minister and all, according to Syracuse.com, anyway, should know better.

He should know that Christians are already viewed by many as intolerant bigots, haters of homosexuals, angry denouncers of any sexual lifestyle that doesn’t put procreation as its A-Number One priority. But there’s a line between teaching proper behavior, living godly standards, instructing in the way one should go — and just being an open, obnoxious, angry and judgmental hater.

Hating is not the way of the Lord.

“No Gays Allowed” is not the biblical way to preach.

It’s one thing to fight against gay marriage, fight against the right of so-called married gay couples to adopt children, fight against the whole LGBTQ movement and the breakdown of traditional families, the degradation of the culture and the destruction of biblically-based morals and values in society.

It’s entirely another to call one self a Christian while proclaiming utter contempt and displaying open hostility for a certain segment of people who — gasp — sin.

We all do. Sin, that is.

But hanging a sign that targets the lifestyle of one set of sinners and not others just seems not only unnecessary but unbiblical — and a big ol’ heap of help for those who already point fingers at Christians and Christianity as hate-filled and intolerant.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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