By Kerwin Holmes, Jr.
(Please, after you read this, see for yourself if your ideals can stand the weight of American politics by going here.)
So, it is here now. The climax that we have all been waiting for. The epic showdown in our nation that I have been warning about.
The epic showdown between Erotic Freedom and Religious Freedom.
And it has hit the American state of Georgia really hard, right between the knees.
In an epic showdown between the rather shaky Republican Governor Nathan Deal, his state legislative body, lobbyists, and entire major world corporations the entire country has its eyes and wallets on Georgia. Big business empires such as AMC, Disney, Marvel Studios, and Home Depot have all launched political rebukes or threats to economically embargo the state of Georgia. But why would these major businesses threaten to discriminate against an entire state of American citizens?
Why, because according to them, discrimination of any kind is wrong. Duh.
Now, now. We shouldn’t get our jock straps, prayer beads, and bras tangled up in knots. Discrimination is surely an essentially bad thing. In fact, all kinds of discrimination should be banned permanently. Why? Because to discriminate means that you choose one thing or an activity over another, and that is totally against the democratic principle of choice right? I mean, when Burger King says I can “have it my way” I usually just slap them with a subpoena I got from the mayor’s office and demand to hold the entire menu hostage. Because choosing a side order of fries instead of chicken nuggets is essential discrimination.
Just like this stupid, idiotic, asinine, and draconian Georgia “Free Exercise Protection Act.”
But…what does Georgia House Bill 757 actually say? Well…in the meat of it…
27 (a) As used in this Code section, the term ‘government’ means the state or any political 28 subdivision of the state or public instrumentality or public corporate body created by or 29 under authority of state law. 30 (b) All individuals who are ministers of the gospel or clerics or religious practitioners 31 ordained or authorized to solemnize marriages, perform rites, or administer sacraments 32 according to the usages of the denomination shall be free to solemnize any marriage, 33 perform any rite, or administer any sacrament or to decline to do the same, in their 34 discretion, in the exercise of their rights to free exercise of religion under the Constitution 35 of this state or of the United States.
So…wait. Does this mean that homosexual people won’t be able to get married in a Christian church? Well…no…
Does it mean that a homosexual couple won’t be able to get married in a Christian church where the pastor refuses upon his personal and/or congregational religious convictions? Well…yes…
Does this mean that a homosexual couple will be able to get married in a Christian church where the pastor accepts upon his personal and/or congregational religious convictions? Well…yes…
But hold up there buster! Doesn’t this law also say something about businesses. Like, can’t they tell homosexuals that they won’t serve them at their lunch counters?!
Well…in the meat of it…
Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other 64 trade practices, is amended by revising Code Section 10-1-573, relating to day of rest for 65 employees of business and industry, as follows: 66 “10-1-573. 67 (a) Any business or industry which operates on either of the two rest days (Saturday or 68 Sunday) and employs those whose habitual day of worship has been chosen by the 69 employer as a day of work shall make all reasonable accommodations to the religious, 70 social, and physical needs of such employees so that those employees may enjoy the same 71 benefits as employees in other occupations. 72 (b) No business or industry shall be required by ordinance or resolution of any county, 73 municipality, or consolidated government to operate on either of the two rest days 74 (Saturday or Sunday).”
Anybody not want to work on a Friday?
But, see, this is where the rubber hits the fan and the fan breaks. All of these major money-making and money-guzzling public corporations want to discriminate against an entire state of American citizens just because some religious people in the private sector don’t agree with each other on the moral boundaries of human sexuality. Really? Really?
And it is they who are decrying that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible! Seriously?
And there are actually religious people (and self-proclaimed not so religious people) applauding this discriminatory measure.
Oh really? You know who else this law promises to religiously protect? How about…
The Muslim imam you just chatted away with since the latest attacks in Belgium and the Ivory Coast about how Islam has been corrupted by Islamist radicals. In case you do not know Islam, the Hadith (the collection of deeds/sayings of Prophet Muhammad and his witnesses) is far less accepting of homosexuality than St. Paul or Jesus the Messiah was.
Rejecting this common-sense bill is like shouting aloud:
Hey, you Buddhists who have loads of bodhisattvas and religious texts in various strains of traditions within your faith that condemn homosexual practices? Yeah, we’re going to need you to tie your sashes around your mouths from now on when you recite them. Hey you Latter-day Saints…eh, you know what? We’ll get back to you when you get back to us on the whole marriage and sexuality issue. Maybe modern politics will cause new revelation for your religious orthodoxy like it did in 1978, since it helped out with that whole 2 Nephi 5:16-25 controversy and the whole racist Mormon priesthood thing. Hey you Hindus, of course those of us who have even blinked at your religion(s) know that there are actually many Hinduisms, but you know what? Any of them that forbid homosexual intercourse is now banned to express itself liberally in this country. In the name of tolerance, we have declared you all intolerable. Have a good day being inclusive with the rest of us!
But doesn’t this law forbid religious authorities to marry non-heterosexual couples? Isn’t this bill “anti-gay?” Well…no. Doesn’t this law forbid serving non-monogamous couples? Well…no, not at all specifically or allegorically. Which is interesting on a side note.
….And which brings up the inevitable issue that I would like to raise for those now applauding the efforts of these corporate giants to use their monies to shape the reality of the societies that they exist to take money from:
What happens when the next unconstitutional Supreme Court decision about marriage goes against your religious convictions?
What happens when bigamy becomes legal (as it already has in some areas). Or what happens when incestuous relationships become legalized (as is already permissible in some societies and permissible in the opinions of some of your fellow countrymen who can also vote like you can)? Shouldn’t the religious diversity of conscience concerning human sexuality be guarded by law?
According to the US Constitution…the answer is YES:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Hmm…a lot of talk about what the Government cannot do when it comes to religion in that oft misquoted Law…But, you know, there will always be those who will want to sacrifice the freedoms of the minorities and lesser men, for the power of money.
Come to think, I remember one epic and culturally beloved story (written by a Christian bloke, of all ironies) that described a fantastical world full of magic and utmost beauty, where the free world became drunk upon the power that was endowed upon them. They so enjoyed using that power to shape the world into their own images, relying upon that power for whatever they decided to become “the greater good”…
that they never considered what that power was doing all on its own before it was too late. So many people supporting these major corporations threatening to punish not only an entire state but thousands of their own employees based upon civil disagreements with people of the cloth…they decry the loss of their powerful dollar. Oh, do it for the money…they tell their moral legislators.
…One Ring to rule them all…and in the darkness…