My daughter has a two-year-old boy and is just beginning to experience The Camel’s Nose. Let me explain. As he gets older, his sleep patterns change, and he sometimes wants to stay up past his normal bedtime. He does this by asking for more bedtime books. Then, he asks if he can have a toy. Then he has to play with the toy. Then, he wants a snack. It leads to many more things that definitely don’t make him want to go to bed.
“The Camel’s Nose” is a reference to an old story in which a camel is left outside his owner’s tent. Wanting to be inside the tent, he sticks his nose under the bottom of the tent, but just barely. As the moments pass, he pushes more of his nose into the tent, then his whole head, then slowly adds more and more of his neck, etc. until finally the entire camel is inside the tent. Resultingly, the camel crowds the owner, upends his things, and makes the owner regret letting even the camel’s nose into the tent. It’s a metaphor for how one seemingly innocent action leads to a much greater egregious result.
Having raised 4 adult children, I have seen many such Camel’s Noses with my children. One is the friend having a sleepover during a school night. The “camel” here may end up with additional friends staying over, not doing homework, staying up late to play video games, watching a questionable movie because someone said they saw and there’s “nothing to worry about”, and going to school the next day with practically no sleep.
There are many Camel’s Noses that we encounter in the course of our lives, from a stray dog who follows you home, to leasing a car, to buying a time share, to clicking on a link in an anonymous email, and many more. We often begin to notice similar patterns in these things and learn to avoid many of them.
But sometimes we still fall for a Camel’s Nose that we haven’t encountered before.
Such was the case when homosexuals began asking for the right to marry.
We heard, “What’s wrong with just letting us get married? How could it possibly hurt your heterosexual marriage?”
Or “We just want to be treated equally, that’s all.”
Or “You have nothing to worry about. Once we get the right to marry, nothing else will happen.”
And when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country via the Obergefell decision, I remember one columnist who mockingly stated that gay marriage is now law, and the world has not ended.
That little camel’s nose had a big, ugly, ferocious camel attached to it, and it’s trying to bring down the tent.
The biggest ramification of same-sex marriage is that same-sex activists used that right to find Christians who provided wedding services and challenged them to support their same-sex wedding or be sued. These Christian business owners include florists, bakers, wedding venue managers, and more. For them, it has come close to destroying their livelihoods. Imagine if you were one of these business owners, trying to just earn a living, not trying to do anything political, and you get sued because you’re just refusing service due to your deeply held religious beliefs. The suit that is brought against you makes you lose a lot of business and income. You spend a lot of time and energy defending yourself legally. You receive death threats. And you have to go through this for years as it winds it’s way through court after court until finally it reaches the Supreme Court, and you hope that they will accept your case and rule in your favor.
For those Christians, legalizing same-sex marriage has NOT been the benign non-event promised by LGBT activists. It has been a direct assault on the livelihoods of many Christians. And if these lawsuits go against these Christians in the Supreme Court, it could have a devastating effect on Christians throughout the country who find that they could be the subject of a set-up and resulting lawsuit.
As bad as that is, there is still more camel coming through the bottom of the tent.
Now, Christian adoption agencies are being forced to place children with same-sex married couples, even though it goes against their beliefs and there are plenty of non-Christian adoption agencies who could perform that service for the same-sex couple. Christian adoption agencies in several states are losing their licensing because of this. That not only hurts the Christian adoption agencies and their employees. It also hurts the children because there are fewer agencies able to place those children.
Those same LGBT activists are pushing to expand non-discrimination laws to include language that will force other Christian business owners and ministries into bankruptcy. The non-discrimination language is again forcing direct challenges to their deeply held religious beliefs. Caving to the demands of the LGBT activists would dilute much of what makes those businesses and ministries distinctly Christian. Which is probably the point of their efforts.
There are also efforts to prohibit pastors from speaking out about their Biblical beliefs about marriage. Some are even pushing to remove the tax-exempt status of such churches.
And there is a general concern among those of us who hold a Biblical view of marriage that we could be ostracized or fired from work if our views on marriage are made known. The pro-LGBT agenda has been pushed as the only allowed view among many in society, and there is a general hesitancy or even fear of expressing our beliefs among others. Some actually have lost their jobs because their Biblical views became known to their employers.
Right now, the camel is inside the tent and is running amok throughout the tent. It’s time for the owner of the camel (the American public) to realize that things have gotten out of hand and put the camel where he won’t do any harm.