I am all out of f*cks to give for religious “freedom” laws
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. -John 13:34-35
That’s what Jesus Christ, the man whose name is being used to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, once said…supposedly. The religious right really couldn’t be more at odds with this sentiment versus their opinion of LGBTQ Americans. And yes, it’s more than just Christians doing the discriminating, but they are the majority, have the most influence in our government and are the most outspoken against gay rights and equality — so this one is for them.
The biggest bigots in this country are changing the narrative and claiming they are the ones being discriminated against because they are rapidly losing the ability to keep others from obtaining the same rights and services as everyone else. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was the answer to their cries to help keep bigotry alive and to keep Christians out of court when they choose to discriminate against gay people.
RFRA’s helped Hobby Lobby v. Burwell win the right to deny contraception to their employees on religious grounds, and the RFRA also ensures doctors and other medical staff who are morally against abortions don’t have to perform or assist with them.
Since same-sex marriage is rapidly becoming the law of the land, those who are morally opposed have been scrambling to figure out a way to keep homosexual/trans people down and using religion to do it. Since religion is protected by the First Amendment, it is the most viable option and threatens to bungle up the courts for decades to come.
That’s how this civil rights movement is similar to other civil rights movements — the use of religion to justify the discrimination. After the initial RFRA was signed by Gov. Mike Pence in Indiana, several businesses decided to finally voice that they would no longer be providing their services to gay people (you could hear their Christian sighs of relief) — much like the ‘whites only’ businesses in the Jim Crow south. Is this what Jesus had in mind? I would venture to say “NO.”
And all the while, the right-wing kept saying that the Indiana RFRA wasn’t meant to allow the discrimination of sexual minorities, but a protection for the religious. Yet, after the protection for the LGBTQ community was added, right wingers were outraged that their right to discriminate was taken away so quickly. After the protection was added, the GOP was left wondering what the point of the law was at all.
So how do we let Americans practice their religion while protecting the people who religious zealots have vowed to hate?
Where is the line?
While I understand that laws are sometimes at odds with one’s religious beliefs, the founding fathers wanted a separation of church and state for this country — they wanted every generation to be governed by reasonable laws without religious influence so that our nation as a whole could benefit from its impartiality. And for a political group like Conservatives who claim to be patriots, one would think they would have an understanding for this need, but alas Fox-rot has eroded the brains of so many in this country.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states in Section One:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Same-sex marriage bans and allowing discrimination against sexual minorities goes against the U.S. Constitution, and allowing sexual minorities the same rights as straight people would not be to the detriment of straight people’s rights. Are we to make separate drinking fountains all over again? Will we make sure homosexuals don’t use the same toilets or swimming pools as straight people?
Are we just doomed to forever go in circles with the religious right, who not so long ago used these very similar arguments to separate black people from white society? These are the same arguments they used when they tried to outlaw interracial marriage. Luckily, if history is doomed to repeat itself, there will be justice for the LGBTQ community. We’re just moving into the Jim Crow phase, where, although same-sex marriage will soon be legal, society now has to make the adjustment and come to terms with reality.
I don’t think white Christians actually know what it is like to be opposed and discriminated against. Fox News and politicians on the right only give them the illusion that they are — yet their rights remain intact no matter how many rights sexual minorities gain. They can hold office in any state without lying about who they are.
They can worship at any church of their choosing with any belief of their choosing. The LGBTQ community is not forcing anyone to get gay married, and no one is forced to attend their weddings. Tax-exempt churches will NEVER be forced to perform the ceremony for same-sex couples. The religious don’t even have to like LGBTQs, they are just being asked to treat them as they would anyone else in secular society. Is it really that hard?
And what does owning a business have to do anything with any of these religious rights? If you make cakes, make a cake. If you make pizza, put the pepperoni on that sh*t and send it out! Does it really matter who will be consuming it and paying your bills?
Obviously people should be able to practice their religion freely, as the First Amendment allows, but when there are two competing claims, I think ones religious practices should be put under the microscope and examined.
Is discrimination actually a religious practice?
In the Christian religion, only God judges sinners, all sin is equal, and acceptance of Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation. And remember, Christ ran with thieves, prostitutes, the poor and down trodden, and some even believe he healed a gay man’s male servant (Luke 7:1-10; Greek language translates this context of servant as a husband bought with a dowry) without a second thought. Jesus didn’t turn away anybody in the Bible. Ever. So do these claims of needing to shun the homosexual/trans population as being part of religious beliefs really hold up in court?
And sure, the Bible does allude to being gay as a sin, among hundreds of other sins that Americans commit every day. Shouldn’t these morally “superior” Christians be forced to refuse service to all sinners? If you can serve a cake to a pregnant bride, but not a lesbian bride, doesn’t that make you a complete hypocrite? My point being, that if Christians actually followed their Christian beliefs to the letter, they wouldn’t be able to serve anyone.
And I’m sorry Christians, your perceived “right” to tell a homosexual customer/patient/client/guest/resident to take a hike just because you don’t agree with the LGBTQ community, is a sort of action that can’t be defended by the words of your savior, who supposedly gave his life to teach you not to hate and judge, and to be humble and accepting of everybody.
No, unless these service providers deny all sinners, I can’t call this anything but bigotry, and if everyone acted upon their religion society wouldn’t function at all. Wouldn’t it be so much easier just to say practice religion in your home or church and practice humility and grace to all? Doesn’t that sound like something closer to what Jesus would really want?
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