I’ve heard of religious freedom before; you know the kind where you can discriminate against someone, usually The Gays, by simply saying Jesus gave you permission. But West Virginia is taking religious freedom to a new, and potentially dangerous, extreme.
Republicans … of course … in the state are trying to pass a new bill that would essentially eliminate all laws if you can prove that the Baby Jesus made you do it.
Drug dealing? Jesus said I could.
Rape and murder? I spoke with Jesus and he understands.
If you can show that religious beliefs, and in West Virginia they mean you Christian beliefs, so all you Muslims that are so dangerous, this does not mean you, made you commit a criminal act then you get a Hall Pass of sorts from God.
I killed my husband because he ate shrimp and in Leviticus …
Case closed; you’re free to go!
I sold drugs because my church needed more money to build a new rectory …
Case closed! Thank you Jesus!
It all sounds crazy, even for a state like West Virginia but …
Senate Bill 11 [SB 11] is also known as the “West Virginia Freedom of Conscience Protection Act” and it establishes that only a “governmental interest of the highest magnitude that cannot otherwise be achieved without burdening the exercise of religion” can compel someone to obey the law if their religious beliefs come into conflict with it.
And SB 11 defines of the exercise of religion thus:
'Exercise of religion’ means the sincere practice or observance of religion or religious conscience. It includes, but is not limited to, the ability to act or refuse to act in a manner substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious beliefs or religious conscience, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.
Now, those who favor the bill say it is just another way to protects those holy bakers and marriage license clerks, and religious wedding venue owners, and good Christians who make bridal gowns, but the fact is that this proposed bill makes it okie-dokie to commit a criminal act if you can prove, or just establish, that the Baby Jesus wanted you to do it. And the state would have to prove a ‘governmental interest of the highest magnitude’ to enforce any law.
Let the games begin … Start cooking meth for the Baby Jeebus! Star raping women because God told you He wanted another son!
Sure, I know it won’t get that far, but this proposed law, and others like it, are seriously taking a step in that direction.