Theocracy Hoosier Style Goes Belly Up     

 

Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

—Matthew 16:6

 

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the freedom to “hate” and the monumental difference between some college dink singing racist songs and the institutionalization of discrimination. And there could be no better example of the latter than what went down this week in Indiana with its fancy “religious freedom” law.

What we are talking about here is the state protecting the right for any business to deny service to a certain segment of people based on religious beliefs without the threat of being sued. Seeing how most of America, specifically a significant portion of the business community, including large corporations like Wal-Mart, along with the political and media contingent, has gone ballistic over this goofy thing, we have to try to see the point, before carrying on our own fun-sized bashing.

Those who drafted and signed it into law, most notably Republican Governor Michael Spence, argue that it is patently unconstitutional for anyone to be forced to serve someone if their customer’s lifestyle is antithetical to their religious belief. And while religion has no bearing on the business world—some purported founders like, say, Jesus or Mohammad might argue the entire fiduciary concept is antithetical to religion itself, but let’s not approach that easy conclusion—it does prevent frivolous lawsuits from mucking up the court.

Sure, who wants the right to fight discrimination in court?

The other argument for the law is that it is religious freedom that is being discriminated against. Shouldn’t people be able to do anything they want based on their religious beliefs, including ignoring civil right laws?

Nope.

That kind of nonsense is called theology, or to use the Islamic term, Sharia Law. This is just the Christian version.

This is no law that protects religious freedom. It is a cleverly spiteful rejection of the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality that is being fought vehemently by atavistic bigots all over this great nation. And yes, if you think another taxpaying citizen does not deserve the same right as you based on the difference in their skin color, gender, sexual orientation or whatever, you are indeed a bigot. It’s fine, live with it. I too am a proud bigot. I think people who base legal precedent on religious beliefs are idiots and should get over themselves and their half-baked illusions and stop pestering the intellectual and cultural evolution of the rest of us.

Feels good to admit it. Embrace your bigotry.

However, take that bigotry and make it law, we’ve got problems.

Fun pertinent fact: Indiana is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, but I digress.

First of all, religious freedom is already protected by the First Amendment. It is clear and no one has ever argued this. When marriage equality is the law of the land, and it will be, so please stop being the horse-and-buggy set trying to stop the advent of the automobile, no church, synagogue, mosque or scientology hall will be expected to, or more to the point, be forced to conduct gay ceremonies.

The government or the shift in cultural winds can and will never intersect with religion. That is sacrosanct and it should be. Since embracing the beauty and majesty of the Rastafari, I am glad local officials are allowing me to smoke my faith’s requisite copious amounts of ganja unimpeded.

The previous notion of fantasy was brought to you by hypocritical discrimination against certain religions that don’t fit in with the fascist evangelical narrative. We now return to our screed already in progress.

Let me be clear, even though I think religion is an insipid and dangerous tool of the oppressed, I am not mocking its use. Feel free to be a snake charmer for all I care. It’s just that when you speak in theological terms it is impossible to balance the morality of your customers. You see, if you are truly a Christian insulted and disgusted by the homosexual lifestyle and you feel it condemned by your God, then you must also be careful not to do business with anyone who is divorced or has coveted anything at anytime in their lives or failed to honor their parents or killed anyone, and by the way, good luck with that. We have all killed; you and me. We give money to the government and that government drops bombs on people, thus according to scripture and the Ten Commandments, we are murderers, period. You want to be true to the letter of the almighty God? Face it, our bigotry is the least of our issues.

What I have described above is cultish behavior. America is not a cult. It is a republic based on laws, one of those very important laws defends your right to believe and worship to your heart’s content, but it is not an easy-pass to heap those beliefs on the rest of us and it sure as hell doesn’t provide the avenue to make a law that enforces an individual’s religious belief over another’s civil right. That is what political scientists call coo-coo.

Also, do we now have to pass a litmus test to see if someone will take our money? This is where we’re going? If I gamble, I can’t get a milkshake? What about my choice of hair style or code of dress or if my type of music is questionable? And, by the way, who decides this? God?

Which God?

And once you pick the God, I assume it will undoubtedly be the Christian God, which is a Trinity God and is adhered to the existence and teachings of Jesus Christ, who said, and I paraphrase, to not judge lest you be judged and who was absolutely without question an anti-religious revolutionary who surrounded himself with “sinners” and pissed on the Temple and its leaders with unflinching glee. That God? Yeah, okay. Nice try.

But, alas, stupidity has its advantages. This thing was so off-the-charts dumb it has scared the shit out of people who couldn’t care any less if gays marry or not, but are not so sure they want some religious nut-job deciding whether they can get a cup of coffee.

There is a pretty good chance that Indiana will be this generation’s Stonewall. It could and should place the final rung on the ladder to marriage equality and eradicate once and for all this latest in a long line of discriminatory laws and battles to keep our citizens from equal rights.

Go Hoosiers!

 

 

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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”.      

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