Today, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive means.
In other words, give fundamentalist Christian business owners the right to refuse service to homosexual patrons. Because we all know that is the only purpose for this kind of law.
Marriage Equality was one of the first issues that really separated me from the ideology of the right. I never did understand how allowing 2 men to marry each other was supposed to hurt MY marriage. Or why anyone should care what 2 consenting adults do in their own bedroom, or who with.
But I have to admit I briefly struggled with this issue. The florist who couldn’t do the gay wedding because of her “relationship with Jesus.” The bakery who refused the gay couple a wedding cake. Part of me wanted to side with business owners – not that I agreed with them in any way at all, but shouldn’t a business owner be able to run their business however they see fit without government interference?
I’ve been a freelance business consultant before and I damn well reserved the right not to take on a client who was rude or obnoxious or disrespectful or who had a business I couldn’t support. Is that different? Really.. is it? I’m not sure.
Finally however it dawned on me – at one point business owners felt they had a “moral right” not to serve African Americans. Or the Irish. Or whoever. And no, you just can’t do that. You can’t open for business to the public and then say “no, YOU cannot shop here because I don’t like your kind.”
But Christians think they should be above discrimination laws. They want to be a specially-protected class, and at the same time they want to deny equal protection to people they disagree with, based solely on their religion. Would the Jesus who ate with prostitutes and tax collectors approve of this? I don’t think so. But I don’t really care anymore either. The CONSTITUTION doesn’t approve, and hopefully at some point (sooner rather than later) these laws will make it there and be universally struck down.
Meanwhile, I cannot wait for this law to turn around and bite Christians in the ass. I am dying to hear of the first atheist store owner refusing service to someone wearing a cross. Or maybe a Muslim refusing them… a Wiccan … anyone not Christian doing unto them what they want to do to everyone else. Because freedom of religion has to mean ANY religion. I’m sure they haven’t thought of that. I’m sure in their arrogance they think they are the ONLY religion. Who am I kidding? We all know they do.
C’mon Indiana! Redeem yourself in this. Turn this around and show them how it feels!