Saturday, March 14, 2015

Religious Liberty : Bigots for Christ

Our constitution is set up to clearly define and layout our rights. It is also used to determine when one right infringes upon another right. It is set up in such a way that your rights are protected up to the instant they do any real injury to another citizen. The 14th amendment makes it very clear that the government must apply laws equally to all, and grant protection to all groups.

The newest trend of Conservative Christians is to cry persecution when they lose their privileged status. When people don't bow down to their beliefs, accommodate their fairy tales, or acquiesce to their demands.  They are taking it farther now, with legislation in multiple States designed to legally enshrine their religious views as more important than any right for anyone else.

Oklahoma has started pushing through a bill that will grant clergy the official governmental duty of ISSUING marriage licenses.  This is so far beyond the pale that I doubt it will stand the first test of any court. This is a direct violation of the establishment clause by endorsing religion directly as a governmental entity.  Utah has passed sweeping anti-discrimination for LGBT people, BUT it exempts religious organizations.  Sort like freeing all the slaves, except the ones you want to keep. Alabama is currently pushing 2 bills through their house HB56 and HB1. HB56 allows governmental employees to discriminate based on their religious views. It allows judges and preachers to refuse to issue marriage licenses to anyone they do not want to issue them to. Non - religious, different religions, wrong races, homosexuals.. it is basically a law that allows anyone in authority to wear their bigotry on their sleeve with no fear of reprisals. It is in direct conflict with the last judgement ruling Alabama's marriage inequality laws unconstitutional. HB 1 is a truly disgusting piece of legislation that attempts to insert religion directly into schools. It allows for students to be disruptive with their religion in class without reprisal. It allows students to use religion as answers to questions without fear of failure. It allows proselytizing to other students.

There are many more bills like this because churches are no longer civic charities meant to help people, educate them and support their spiritual lives, they are now political organizations. They tell congregations who to vote for. They tell legislatures what bills to pass. They have moved beyond the role they were given tax exempt status for and should have their statuses revoke. Ridgecrest, in Dothan Alabama, even sent out a mailer with exactly who you were supposed to vote for. This is a concerted effort to destroy the foundational principle of Separation of Church and State.

When you write laws specifically granting one group special privileges over any other group, you are violating the 14th amendment of the Constitution. When your actions do actual harm, you are in violation of the equal protection clause. If someone cannot get a job, cannot do business, cannot get married simply because of the bigotry of another, the problem is not the person being discriminated against... it is the bigot that is using the weight of their imaginary God to demand that special power.

We must not allow this to happen. Bigotry, cannot be codified into our laws. We must stand up for those among us too powerless, too few, too frightened, too demonized to stand up for themselves.