Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis CEO and President of the Creation Museum, has said that intolerance toward Christians is growing in the United States and argued that judges should be allowed to refuse to perform such same-sex marriages if such unions violate their beliefs.
"It is quickly becoming more and more obvious that religious freedom is declining (quite rapidly) in America. And with the June SCOTUS decision to legalize gay "marriage," this decline is happening faster than ever," Ham wrote on his AiG blog on Tuesday.
"Christians are increasingly being punished by the government for acting on their sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage that are based on the standard of Scripture. And we are hearing of more and more people being disciplined or fired from their jobs because they profess their Christian faith," he continued.
Ham referenced one particular Ohio Supreme Court nonbinding opinion, which stated that "A judge who exercises the authority to perform civil marriages may not refuse to perform same-sex marriages while continuing to perform opposite-sex marriages. A judge may not decline to perform all marriages in order to avoid marrying same-sex couples based on his or her personal, moral, or religious beliefs."
While such an opinion may be nonbinding, Ham charges that it seems to suggest that "those who hold that marriage is for one man and one woman because of their 'personal, moral, or religious beliefs' are unfit to be judges."
If such an opinion becomes an actual law, it could"set up an anti-Christian litmus test for any judicial officer in the state," Ham warns.
The Why Won't They Listen author urges Christians to stand firm in defending a Biblical definition of marriage and charged that those who support gay marriage are "compromising God's Word with man's word."
"So, judge or otherwise, you are using your religious worldview - God's Word or man's ideas - to make your decisions. There is no neutrality! It all depends on your worldview, and Christians shouldn't be excluded from using their worldview to make decisions any more than a secular judge should be. Sadly, Christians are being increasingly marginalized and punished in this culture - yes, it's real persecution," he continued.
He encourages those discouraged by the continued attacks on religious freedom to remember that ultimately, "Christ has the victory and we can rejoice in that even while we fight to preserve our precious freedoms."
"And, of course, the most important thing that we can do, and the only thing that will change hearts and lives, not just for this life, but for eternity, is preach the gospel of Jesus Christ," he writes. "It is this gospel and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that changes hearts and lives and, ultimately, will change the culture."