With Liberty and Justice For All?

Hey everybody. I know I’ve been on hiatus for awhile, and to those who care, I do apologize. College ain’t the party it is in the movies!

What brings me back from the dead today is a matter of great urgency. America is caving in on itself. Kansas just passed a bill that legalizes anti-gay segregation. Idaho has just proposed one.

“One nation. . . with liberty and justice for all.” Some people think religious freedom means they can do whatever they want to others in the name of their religion. If religion is the reason, it ought to be sacrosanct. Segregation. Hate. Inequality.

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To this, I state what should be the obvious. No.

That’s simply not what religious freedom means. That’s not what the Founders intended, and permit me to say, that’s not even what God intended. But let’s not go into a religious analysis of these “pre-emptive” measures.

The point is, it shouldn’t be an issue. It doesn’t matter what the religious analysis is, because in addition to religious freedom, America was founded on a separation between Church and State. You can’t privilege one religion over another. You can’t use religious reasoning in the law. Period.

These bills don’t explicitly grant one religion privilege, but they do grant those with close-minded religious beliefs privilege to deprive LGBT couples (and single individuals, if you read into the loopholes) of their fundamental American right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And if you take context into consideration, and realize that the conservatives who proposed and passed these bills are part of the fear-based, paranoid, Christian movement sweeping the red nation, you’ll read the subtext privilege granted to frightened and paranoid Christians.

Additionally, they don’t technically use religious reasoning, or directly impose the will of one religion onto anybody. They simply allow individuals the right to impose the will of their religion upon LGBT citizens. That is an indirect route to the same end.

These bills don’t grant the right of religious freedom to all; they grant to homophobes the right of freedom from fear and discomfort. At the expense of LGBT citizens.

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Remember this?

If only the laws allowed us to refuse service to ANYBODY because of religion, instead of just gays! Wouldn’t Idaho and Kansas be such nice, cozy places to live? Imagine every day full of the satisfying knowledge that your government permits the religiously vehement rejection of anything personally distasteful to you. I think I would start by refusing to tip my right-wing conservative waiter, regardless of his service! Condoning his hateful behavior and lifestyle conflicts deeply with my religion.

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One response to “With Liberty and Justice For All?

  1. Applause applause! Your last remark makes a punch of a point. I’ve noticed while watching the Olympics that Russia is made up of a very homogenous group of people. It’s almost like a “race” and Russia seems to harbor few of any other. This is not a criticism. Just an observation. This is in stark contrast to the USA which is built on the idea of immigrants searching for a better life: freedom from a religious persecution imposed by the government.

    I continue to be appalled at those in our country who forget this important tenant: there is a separation between church and state that is integral to our country’s very roots and identity. The Constitution gives people the right to practice their own religion but not at the expense of another! And there certainly ought not to be ANY laws that, based on one’s religious beliefs, penalize any other citizen.

    Certainly people have the right not to associate with someone whose lifestyle they think is immoral or wrong. That is anyone’s perogative. Perhaps we should limit our associations with hate mongers, the obsessively tatooed and pierced, people who have sex outside of marriage, anyone who doesn’t fight for women’s rights, people who use abortion as birth control, Republicans, people who are Pro-Life but use violence to kill Pro-Choicers, people who insist their sons should be circumcised, etc etc etc. The list could go on indefinitely. Ridiculous.
    Whatever. I can’t imagine anyone who believes as the person in the email/post does will ever see “it” from anyone’s perspective but their own.

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