It does seem ridiculous for me to compare this new Airbnb policy with the persecution of Christians by the Roman empire. We’re not quite there, and so the comparison was over-the-top. But…
It’s where I believe we are headed. Here’s why:
- You have to understand what the statement actually means and not just what it says. Obviously, I can agree to treat everyone with respect. I can discuss sin, the judgement to come, and the gospel of Jesus Christ with a homosexual couple in a respectful way, just as I can discuss it with any other poor sinner. But that’s precisely what this statement says I must not do. They would consider such words from my mouth as hate speech and inconsistent with their guidelines. The statement itself is vague, of course, and so they have plausible deniability, and you can tell me that I’m crazy and that’s not what it means. But I think you’d be wrong. I think that’s precisely what it means.
- I believe that Airbnb should be allowed to set the terms of their service to anything they want. The problem is that this currently only goes one way in this country. Back in 2015, a bakery in Oregan was forced to pay damages of over $135,000 because they refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. That’s apparently not allowed, but, as I said, this new statement means that if I use Airbnb, I cannot refuse to offer my home to two homosexual men simply because they’re homosexuals. And so Airbnb can refuse to serve me because I’m not willing to subscribe to their statement of faith… but the cake-bakers don’t have that choice.
In a tolerant society, we would be allowed to associate and serve whomever we choose. My point is that this is yet another attempt to marginalize Christian conviction.