“Religious Freedom”?

by Barry King


This is a waypoint on the path of the devolution of the USA towards becoming a police state. I heard some of this low-information hysteria first-hand on the car radio while driving through Indiana recently, in a snowstorm. Putting "religious freedom" inside scare quotes like that, in order to condemn it and suppress it, moves the USA away from the principles of the American revolution and toward those of the French. Diderot said "Let us strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest." He would have gladly joined the current campaign from the American left against Indiana's perfectly reasonable Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

I see that the obvious thought experiments have already been tried: passing by the evangelical Christians, someone asked several Muslim bakers in Indiana for a "gay wedding" cake. Someone else asked gay bakers for a cake with a pro-traditional-marriage slogan written in the icing. In all those experiments, the answers received were as predictable and appropriate as they were obvious: "No. We won't do that. Ask someone else". Those are acceptable answers, in a free, diverse, and pluralistic society. We are talking about "discrimination" against opinions and activities here, not against people per se, so it's not like race discrimination which may appropriately be banned. But because some people don't like such answers, there are now millions of Americans who want to use government coercion to try to force all those bakers, florists, and others, to do jobs they don't want to do, by labeling their choices "discrimination"? Here's a double hypothetical: if there were such a thing as Ugandan aid to the USA which could be suspended, I might propose that the people of Uganda implement sanctions against the people of the USA, for their attempted denial of the religious freedom rights of their fellow citizens (actually, an existing federal Religious Freedom law, and the US Constitution, already grant all US citizens the freedoms that the new Indiana law only seeks to confirm, but for purposes of hysteria, outrage, and sanctions, let's not worry about the facts). However, I won't really propose any such sanctions because American decisions like that are none of Uganda's business. And vice-versa.

Christian musician Bill Gaither once entitled an album "Back Home in Indiana", but I am back home in Uganda now, after a brief, cold, and snowy sojourn in Indiana and several other states.

One thought on ““Religious Freedom”?

  1. Robert Kadlecik

    Politically, there is a reason the first amendment was first. Freedom of speech/religion It is the cornerstone of a free society. We need to have the courage to stand up for our own principles, no matter the cost. It has been disappointing to see how many backed away from Indiana's law in the initial firestorm. This will just embolden the intolerant bullies for the next battle to silence and marginalize those who disagree with them. Some of the problem is that conservatives always seem surprised by the vitriolic backlash. Get used to it. Truth is often unpopular and inconvenient.


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