When I woke up this morning, I did not expect to be writing this article. In fact, I had originally planned on writing on the topic of atheism… but then Indiana went and screwed that up for ya’ll.
For those whose homes are under rocks, Indiana’s governor signed SB 101 into law today. SB101, also known as the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, is the extremely unnecessary and controversial bill that prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if that burden results from a rule of general applicability. This is the same type of law that the xenophobic and rabidly right-wingnut state of Arizona thought would be disastrous, and subsequently passed on implementing because of it’s potential impact to the state’s bottom line.
This law states that the government cannot compel compliance to any law that violates a person’s “sincerely-held religious beliefs.” To break it down even farther, Indiana businesses can, and will, now refuse service anyone they want to, all under the guise of “religious expression”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that, since the United States Supreme Court is likely to rule in favour of marriage equality, the states are attempting to nullify that decision under the leadership of the Religious Right’s false prophets.
Make no mistake – these bills and these actions are not about protecting one’s right exercise their religion, as expressed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. These bills are about the resurrection of the Moral Majority. The Moral Majority has always wanted to be the sole arbiter of “acceptable” behaviour. The same confederation of people, bound by a deeply flawed variant of Baptist theology, who once told you that playing Dungeons and Dragons would send send you to hell, now want to tell you who you can marry and where you can shop. They so deeply resent their irrelevance in our modern culture that they are clinging to everything they can sink their claws into… and doing it all in the Name of the Almighty Jesus.
Granted, it’s a European-esque white Jesus, affable and approachable, rich in worldly goods, who only requires the most basic of lip service. One whose commandments of “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 20:27, Gr: Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς,) is, apparently, not as important as the need to judge. I guess if you can break one of the New Covenant’s laws, then it’s easy to break them all. (Luke 6:27, Gr: Καὶ μὴ κρίνετε, καὶ οὐ μὴ κριθῆτε. Μὴ καταδικάζετε, καὶ οὐ μὴ καταδικασθῆτε· ἀπολύετε, καὶ ἀπολυθήσεσθε).
What it comes down to here is privilege. Christians have had a good run of things for the last century or two, and don’t want to relinquish that place of power. The concept of “Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s” (Mark 12:17, Gr: Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἴπεν αὐτοῖς, Ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι, καὶ τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τῷ θεῷ. Καὶ ἐθαύμασαν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ.) is a forgotten and foreign concept to them, for the Mouth From The South himself, Jerry Falwell, decreed it so:
“I am speaking to rally together the people of this country who still believe in decency, the home, the family, morality, the free enterprise system, and all the great ideals that are the cornerstone of this nation. Against the growing tide of permissiveness and moral decay that is crushing our society, we must make a sacred commitment to God Almighty to turn this nation around immediately.” (Jerry Falwell, Listen, America! (New York: Doubleday, 1980), 244.)
Because Mr. Falwell chose to serve his own personal agenda, and forsook the actually biblical teaching of fifteen years prior, Mr. Falwell has become a false prophet, leading the gullible and the naive to engage in acts of physical and emotional cruelty unimaginable just a mere forty years ago. How much harm has been done, and will be done in the name of “religious expression”?
Jesus fucking wept, people, and I just can’t anymore.
It’s time we take back our country from the extremists in our midst, and it’s time we speak with our voices, our votes, and our wallets. My money’s as green as the next gal’s, and it spends just as well.
Too bad Indiana ain’t gonna see a dime of it.