In the past week there has been an “AVALANCHE of intolerance” that has taken place. Now, you might think I’m referring to Indiana’s new law (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) making it legal for businesses to discriminate against people who are LGBT, but according to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, it turns out that that actual intolerance is coming from the folks who REFUSE to tolerate Indiana’s intolerance. I mean, you’d THINK that people who are so sensitive to intolerance would be able to recognize their own narrow-mindedness, right?!? This wave of intolerance has come not only from individuals…
Indiana are you also going to allow Christian establishments to ban Jews from coming in? Or Vice Versa? Religious freedom??? #OUTRAGE
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) March 27, 2015
Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT http://t.co/mDhpS18oEH
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 27, 2015
.@GovPenceIN Some in my band are gay & we have 2 gigs in your state next month. Should we call ahead to make sure the hotel accepts us all? — Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) March 26, 2015
but also from companies like Apple….
Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar #HB1228. — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 27, 2015
and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff who tweeted….
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE — Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015
Even the NCAA, which is based in Indianapolis, is reconsidering how this decision will affect its relationship with Indiana. Angie’s List has also cancelled an expansion in Indiana over the RFRA, but I think that the idiocy of this position is best summed up by America’s Best Christian, Mrs. Betty Bowers (a woman “so close to Jesus He uses my birthday when He plays Lotto”), who tweeted…
If a True Christian™ discriminates against you it’s FREEDOM. If you return the favor it’s PERSECUTION #BoycottIndiana pic.twitter.com/P45D7dhr0x
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) March 27, 2015
So listen, I know this type of story is the sort of thing people have come to expect me to write about, but I have been trying to stay out of it. It’s just such a tired, sad, obvious wrong that I figure if you don’t already see that, chances are nothing I’m going to write is going to change that. Also, so many other people have done such a good job of pointing out the ridiculousness of this whole situation that I didn’t really feel like I had a lot to add. One of the best I’ve read is THIS ONE by Gene Robinson…. Here is a quote from that article:
Taken to their logical and extreme conclusion, such laws could allow someone to ask to be exempted from meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, if that person’s religion believed (as in much of the Old Testament) that physical infirmities were the result of the afflicted person’s sin (or that of his parents), and “my religion condemns sin rather than cooperating with it.”
I mean, the idiocy of this law…. It is like an anti-axiom. But when I saw this morning’s interview with Governor Pence on ABC News’ “The Week,” I had to pass it along. Everyone needs to see this, and if my writing this gets the few people who frequent this blog to watch this extraordinary interview, it’ll be worth it. Warning: If you don’t enjoy watching politicians squirm, you probably won’t enjoy this: http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=29987447
Now just in case you don’t actually watch the video (I can see how many of you actually click on the links–It’s a pretty small percentage of how many people read the posts…. You should all be ashamed of yourselves), Indiana Governor Mike Pence went on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos to do some damage control after Indiana started getting loads of bad publicity for the bill that the signed into law. He plays the victim by blaming the left for being intolerant of his state’s attempts to make it legal to discriminate against people who are LGBT. He actually says the words, “Is tolerance a two way street, or not?” The interview ends with Governor Pence being asked, “Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays and lesbians?” After being asked multiple times, the governor could not seem to bring himself to give a simple, “No, I don’t think it should be legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians.” One can only guess at the reasoning behind his refusal to say yes or a no….
That’s about all I’ve got in me. Sorry. It’s just so freaking discouraging…. Anyway, I am reminded of probably the best article about understanding religious liberty that I have ever read. It was written by Rev. Emily C. Heath, and it is titled “How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions.” Even if you’ve read it before, you should read it again. She ends her article (and I’ll end mine) with these wise words:
The only way to ensure your own religious liberty remains strong is by advocating for the religious liberty of all, including those with whom you may passionately disagree. Because they deserve the same rights as you. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Working hard in AR to stop a similar heinous law. Planning to steal several of your quotes (“black and gay”) to help make the point how absurd this is. Thanks.
Thanks for such a great article. And yes, the parallels between this and racism are painfully obvious 😦
“The only way to ensure your own religious liberty remains strong is by advocating for the religious liberty of all, including those with whom you may passionately disagree. Because they deserve the same rights as you. Nothing more. Nothing less.” Who is the ‘your own’ ….’all’….whom ‘you’ …’they’ same rights as ‘you’? Selah
This is an interesting issue for me, because I come down on both sides of it. The right to freely associate (assemble, hire, fire, serve, eject, evict, etc,) is really important. But the expectation that society works basically the same way for anyone is even more important. The whole point of democracy can be undermined by a widespread consensus of discrimination. This problem is on the order of the early American fear of the Masons or the Society of the Cincinnati. (The latter even got some special mentions by the founding fathers as a Bad Thing.)
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