Sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want the freedom to believe in whatever they please? Or in my case, the freedom to not believe. But as usual, whenever a bill or a law is named like this(the patriot act, for instance), there’s more to the story. Religious liberty has now become code for using your religion as an excuse to discriminate.
It’s not shocking that Mississippi has done this, given their abysmal history. I am a bit surprised that North Carolina passed a similar law though and that Indiana and Georgia came close, before backing down under pressure from the business community. Is it any wonder that Republicans cannot win a national election anymore? Is it any wonder that with each generation, fewer and fewer people consider themselves to be religious? There is such a clear right and wrong here that having to even discuss it makes my head hurt.
Before starting this blog, I found that I was posting a fair amount of political stuff on my Facebook page. I recognized that it can be tedious for some people and so I toned it down but I still needed an outlet so, here we are. After Mississippi passed the law the other day, I did put up a post on my page saying something like, “way to go Mississippi, on the wrong side of history again”. There were a few comments and likes and a decent discussion went on. I have several Facebook friends who are gay. If any of my friends didn’t agree, they at least had the good sense to ignore the post. Except one person, an old friend from high school who I haven’t seen in thirty years. He strongly defended this law and somehow believes that he and others on his side of the argument are the ones being discriminated against. There is no arguing with him. I didn’t try. His page is filled with hateful things and I should probably just drop him but I haven’t yet because I like to see opposing points of view. I like to think that I have a fairly open mind and am willing to change my positions or “let them evolve” as politicians like to say.
Not in this case though. This is discrimination, no different than not allowing black people in your diner. One final thought on this. I think of personal liberty in much the same way that I think about smoking. I think your right to smoke in public ends at the exact point where you’re forcing others to breathe it in. So yes, by all means, enjoy your religious liberty, exactly up to the point where it discriminates against someone else.