Matthew Myer Boulton's statement on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA):
Christian Theology Seminary (and SALT) believe deeply in religious liberty. But we witness to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth - the one every Christian disciple seeks to follow - calls us not to a freedom to exclude, or a freedom to discriminate, or a freedom to create an atmosphere where prejudice may flourish. On the contrary, again and again, Jesus calls us to a freedom of inclusion, equality, justice, and profound respect for the dignity of all.
CTS (and SALT) oppose this act, then, not only because it represents an offense to the spirit of civil rights; not only because it cuts against the best of Hoosier hospitality; and not only because it has created a public relations crisis for the state of Indiana. We oppose RFRA primarily because it violates the Christian values we hold dear: values of inclusion, equality, justice, and the dignity of all people, including our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
The Christian Gospels are replete with examples of these values. In the Gospel According to Luke, in response to the command to 'love your neighbor as yourself,' a lawyer asks Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?' It is a clannish question, a question that seeks to draw a circle around one group we are required to love and serve, creating another group we supposedly may exclude as outsiders.
But Jesus will have none of it. In his response - the parable of the Good Samaritan - Jesus flips the question on its head, as if to say, 'Don't waste your time asking the clannish question of who your neighbor is; instead, go and BE an excellent neighbor, serving all with mercy and justice.'
*(Salt is a not-for-profit project committed to creating beautiful and theologically interesting church media.)