On March 26th, Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence, signed into law a very controversial bill called “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act”.
From The Huffington Post: “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow any individual or corporation to cite its religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party.”
In short, it protects and allows businesses to pick and choose who they want to do business with based on the teachings and beliefs of their religion.
I don’t know about you, but I’m growing tired of cowardly religious fanatics hiding behind their faith in order to support, and in many cases, propagate discrimination against other, undeserving human beings.
The fact of the matter is just because your religion “says” something, doesn’t mean it’s true.
We are all free thinking adults, who hopefully know right from wrong. We should be able to separate our spirituality from reality; our faith-based adoration from loving our neighbor.
Having faith in a higher power is fine. But your ultimate beliefs and opinions should be your own. Not from some religious entity that seems to have more reasons to “hate” people than it does to love and accept them.
American Author Neal Stephenson once remarked:
“Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people’s minds.”
In a recent statement Pence said, “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it.”
I wouldn’t classify myself as a highly intellectual individual, and probably will never achieve such a revered position as governor in the United State of America. But even I can figure out that this bill has discrimination written all over it.
On Thursday the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Legal Director, Sarah Warbelow said the Indiana General Assembly and Pence have sent a message saying, “as long as your religion tells you to, it’s ok to discriminate against people despite what the law says.”
Interestingly enough, an article in The Chicago Tribune discovered that most businesses they contacted in Indiana “insisted they had no desire to discriminate against any of their customers.”
But obviously someone with hands in Pence’s pockets (who by the way is making a run for president – good luck pal!) was able to convince the republican governor that this bill was a good idea. It’s ironic given the fact that many Indiana residents are now feeling the repercussions of the governor’s actions – with a flood of negative press destined to reduce tourism, and major corporations and conglomerates threatening to pull events out of Indiana.
It’s no surprise that social media platforms have been hot with activity on the subject. My favorite coming from talented actress Audra McDonald: “Some in my band are gay & we have 2 gigs in your state next month. Should we call ahead to make sure the hotel accepts us all? Or MAYBE…we need to stick to singing in states that don’t legislate hate?”
If I were living in Indiana I would be utterly embarrassed and ashamed that my state is sending out such a powerful message of prejudice towards humanity. And that’s the point my dear readers. Regardless of what Pence THINKS the bill means, what SHOULD society perceive it as? The message seems clear to me and to millions of other Americas across the nation and the world.
Robert Green Ingersoll was a Civil War veteran and famed orator during the Golden Age of Free thought – a time in history when people questioned the traditional ideas and thinking of the world they lived in.
One of his most powerful sentiments states, “Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.”