Jun 06, 2020

‘Religious freedom’ laws help justify discrimination

The country is in an uproar over what’s happening in Indiana and Arkansas. The Supreme Court of the United States is getting ready to hear a case on same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, legislators are waging a war on equal rights to pander to the most hateful members of their constituencies.

The concept is that the government is making laws to protect the “religious freedoms” of its citizens. It sounds good on paper. But in actuality, the only purpose is to give businesses the freedom to discriminate.

In a television interview, former Pennsylvania congressman Rick Santorum said, “Tolerance is a two-way street. If you’re a print shop and you are a gay man, should you be forced to print ‘God Hates Fags’ for the Westboro Baptist Church because they hold those signs up?”

It’s laughable that Mr. Santorum’s position is so weak that he needed to take his example to its most extreme. It’s not as if all gays insist on vendors designing food with an image of man-on-man sex. It’s an unrealistic, and unfair, comparison.

Immediately after the “religious freedom” law was enacted in Indiana, businesses came out and said they would decline their services to gays and lesbians. Some claimed that they had no personal problem with LGBT people, but that their religion prevented them for interacting with them from a business standpoint.

It’s the same thing people do when they say racist things but preface it by saying, “Not to sound racist, but …” Believe it or not, they’re about to say something incredibly racist.

Or in movies if the mafia kills someone’s family but then says “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” That’s pretty personal. Starting your sentence with a disclaimer changes absolutely nothing.

The pathetic zealots always do the same thing; they only cite what they want to from their religious text. No one is ever brave enough to honor the whole horrific thing.

The Bible says: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

This is the basis for being allowed to hate gays and excuse it as religious freedom. Why do these pitiful not even have true conviction to their religion instead of picking and choosing?

The Bible also says: “… I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”Religous freedom laws

True believers of this archaic text would hate gays and also want to abolish women’s rights. But that’s seldom the case. In reality, these people simply hate gays and attempt to justify their hatred by hiding behind religion.

In reality, it’s all nonsense. Religion has caused just as much harm as it has good. If not, more. More violence has been waged over religion than any other reason.

There isn’t even a debate to be had as to whether the “religious freedom” laws are specifically discriminatory; it’s a simple fact that they are.

The problem is, these laws violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which provides for equal protection.

These laws are the same ones of the 1950s that discriminated against African-Americans. At what point in our society do we stop feigning ignorance and admit that it’s the same prejudice in a different package?

The funny thing is, these laws should have never gotten this far in the first place. “Religious freedom” laws needn’t be enacted. Religious folk already have the ultimate protection – the First Amendment.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Enough said. There is no elaboration necessary.

However, if you require more convincing, The Supreme Court of the United States is happy to oblige you.

In 1947, the court expanded on the meaning of the First Amendment. In its decision, the court cited the writings of Thomas Jefferson that said the First Amendment created a “wall of separation between church and state.”

Essentially, the laws states are enacting to support “religious freedom” are automatically unconstitutional – not because of their inherent discriminatory nature, but rather their violation of the First Amendment’s promise to not make any laws regarding religion and to separate religious society from government.

Discrimination aside, legislators who champion these religious laws which help ignorant people pass them into law for the sake of getting votes are guilty of incitement of violating the First Amendment and should be removed from office by the court.

Unfortunately this isn’t the case. We’re so overwhelmed with freedom in America that we think people can say and do whatever they want – even when it’s specifically unconstitutional.

“Religious freedom” laws, and their champions in government, should be abolished for the sake of their violation of our most important constitutional amendment.

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