Out there in Michigan, the GOP controlled House of Representatives, led by Speaker Jase Bolger, has passed a bill that would allow discrimination to become sanctioned by the state if you can say you discriminated because God told you it was okay … cuz God is all about discrimination, you know.
This bill, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA] is much like one that made nationwide headlines in Arizona before it was vetoed; it appears to allow the government to step aside if a person's "deeply-held religious beliefs" mandate they act, or not act, in a certain manner. Supporters of RFRA claim the bill allows people of faith to exercise their religion without government interference, but the fact is that what these bills do is to allow discrimination under the mask of religion; and, again, we all know that God—whether you believe in Her or not—is all about the discrimination.
Under the RFRA a pharmacist could refuse to fill a doctor's prescription for birth control, or HIV medication; an emergency room physician or EMT could refuse service to a gay person in need of immediate treatment; a school teacher could refuse to mentor the children of a same-sex couple; a science teacher could teach that the Earth is just 6,000 years old; a DMV clerk could refuse to give a driver's license to a person who is divorced.
And what if a Catholic-owned hospital refused admittance to people who need a procedure that violates the institution’s religious directives, such as a pre-viability pregnancy termination in the case of a miscarriage; what if that Catholic-owned hospital refused a same-sex couple.
And, what about those religions that allow for a man to beat his wife? Would he be allowed to do so because of his deeply held religious beliefs? It’s not that far-fetched when you allow religious discrimination of any kind.
But Jase Bolger — and the Michigan GOP — doesn’t care about that because the people who are being discriminated against are not part of the goose-stepping GOP base, and so he fast-tracked the bill, which passed solely along partisan lines, and now heads to the Michigan Senate. If successful there, it’s a hop skip and a hate crime to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, though, to be fair, it’s not yet known if he would sign it.
“I support individual liberty and I support religious freedom,” Bolger said today. “I have been horrified as some have claimed that a person’s faith should only be practiced while hiding in their home or in their church.” — Jase Bolger
I, too, am horrified that he would say that without offering one single case of a person being denied their religious freedom in this country. Oh, if he means the baker who doesn’t wanna bake a cake for a gay couple, then he needs to make sure the baker is a church, and not a publicly run business; or, if he means the clerk who won’t issue a marriage license, then he needs to make sure the clerk is working for a religious organization, and not the state, or federal, government.
And this whole notion of “restoring” religious freedom annoys me because, again, I have not seen religious freedom stripped away from anyone. Take a drive down any street in South Carolina and you’ll find more churches than gas stations; take a peek at our local channels and you’ll find a church, and its pastor, advertising their faith every morning.
We have always had religious freedom, but what we don’t have is religion trumping the laws of this country; what we don’t have is people using God to inflict their own personal beliefs on anyone else.
But, if that’s how you wanna roll, Michigan, please make an addendum to your bill: please force those business, and hospitals, and pharmacies, and schools, that want to discriminate against people while citing their religious beliefs post a sign at their doors so that people who don’t think God hates anyone, or would discriminate against anyone, or people who don’t believe there even is a God, can go somewhere else.
Make people who want to discriminate against anyone else be forced to advertise their discrimination.
If haters are gonna hate, make them tell people about it.