Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Don't let the facts stand in our way. . .
Never mind that President Clinton signed a national version of this law (check it out Hillary). . .
Never mind that the politicians and businessmen so offended by Indiana's law count China as an ally and do business with countries that really persecute gays and lesbians. . .
Never mind that few of the people who are against the law have even read it. . .
We don't need to be in possession of the facts to be morally outraged and to claim the higher ground of anti-discrimination. . . all we need is a media prone to speak before thinking and a cause that has claimed its place among the heroic fights of history (such as those who stood against racial discrimination when laws prevented people from eating or drinking from a fountain or using a restroom or voting or owning property, etc...). . .
Religious Freedom Restoration Acts first came about after the Supreme Court’s 1990 decision in Employment Division v. Smith, which “narrowed protections for the free exercise of religion.”
In response to the court’s ruling, Congress sought to restore religious freedom by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, popularly known as RFRA. The legislation won unanimous support in the House, passed 97-3 in the Senate, and was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. Since then, in addition to Indiana, 19 states have passed their own state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Another 11 states have RFRA-like protections provided by state court decisions.
Read here for a spirited defense of the reason for this legislation or here for the suggestion that moral outrage in search of a cause has swayed those 30 something and younger. . . I have no doubt that gays and lesbians DO suffer from some discrimination but if you look at the world news you might find that the religious freedoms explicitly spelled out in the constitution are under great attack and we are on the verge of silencing religious speech when it conflicts with politically correct thinking. GLBT folks have great access to and powerful friends within the media and are in little danger of being silenced. Orthodox Christianity is not so fortunate.
David Brooks has also weighed in. . .
And here the ever reasoned voice of Robert Reno. . .