What? You heard me.
The Republican Party in the United States has held two key cornerstones for the past century and that has been fiscal conservatism and family values, and the bill acts against both interests.
It's not a financially sound investment to pass legislature that is guaranteed to be repealed. The Religious Freedom Bill actively approves discrimination against citizens of the United States, a trend which has proven to be vastly unpopular among the people who are discriminated against. They will fight tooth and nail to have the bill repealed, and the Supreme Court will lean towards repealing it. It's not a maybe at this point. It's not an uncertainty. This is not the era of McCarthyism, of Victorian era values, of the firebrand preaching of the Great Revival; this is the modern era, and one where those held under can make their voices heard just as loudly as others.
People will fight against the bill. Lawyers on both sides will argue in courts. Millions of dollars will be spent and in the end it will be repealed. That's money wasted. Money that could be spent towards other issues the Republican party is dedicated to.
As for the other issue, the Religious Freedom Bill is going to work pretty heavily against having Religious Freedom.
At this point in history you have unparalleled religious freedom and in America you have incredibly sway in politics and pop culture. If I walk into a bar and said "Can someone tell me who Jesus Christ is?" I will have many people able to tell me who he was and why he is important to them. There will be no worshippers of Ra the Sun God demanding I be cast into a pit for not worshipping their God and I will not run the risk of having to defend myself against the worshippers of Tzecatlipoca who would add me to the lists of sacrifices to keep the Sun rising and this age continuing.
Having unparalleled religious freedom doesn't mean you do not have to face consequences for your actions. Right now you are asking for the right to refuse service to people whose beliefs you do not agree with or support. You are taking a stand together and saying "Gays, we're not a fan" and telling them their money is not good in your stores.
How do you think this makes you look?
You look exclusionary. You look like you don't want to be around other people. You look divisive. Above all else, you look petty. (If you flinch from reading this and feel anger rising up inside of you, imagine if you were gay and someone said you can't shop in their store.)
You may be reading this and thinking "No, this bill will support my faith and protect my rights to be religious." The bill certainly seems like it would. It protects your right to deny service to someone whose sexual orientation, faith, or politics would go against your religion.
This also applies to YOU. No, really. This means the following things:
- If I do not agree with Christians in my store, I can deny you service. It is my religious belief not to allow you in my store.
- I can deny you life saving medications at my pharmacy if I do not support those who choose to be Republican.
- I can offer great discounts to those who share my faith and beliefs and live in my small town but if you disagree with me then I can force you to have to drive to a different town for the same services.
- I can be known for repairing cars for cheap and offering great deals on services, but if you are not Atheist, I can force you to have to go to another mechanic who offers you costlier repairs and services that you cannot afford.
- You may be desperate to feed your family and need to go to a local Aldi or Kroger to buy food in bulk to feed them but if you're Christian, I can ask you to set your items down and get out of my store because of your "puritanical ways."
Sound stupid? Sound like it wouldn't happen?
It's happening now. We have a councilman who is refusing service to State Legislators. We have several businesses being posted on Facebook when it is revealed they will not support GLBT clients. There are legislators coming out and saying that if the bill passes then they want restaurants to post signs in their windows stating that if they will ban people because of their orientations or beliefs then they need to post a sign stating they will do so, which some consider unfair because "it'll hurt my business."
Being petty and discriminatory to people only makes the other side feel the need to do the same back. AND WHO WOULD BLAME THEM? There's only so long you can say "I don't like you, I don't want you here" before eventually you reach the point of "Well, I don't like you either."
This isn't a case of people becoming less religious or the world becoming more and more sinful. We've just reached an age as a society where doing dickish things isn't being celebrated but being called out for what it is; being dickish.
If you truly love your faith and feel that its warm embrace, then that's amazing. No, it really is. I've seen faith do some remarkable things, and I've known people turn their lives around because of it. I've also experienced the darker side of that, and have felt like I should have removed myself from existence because of that.
Do good things in the name of your faith but for everyone, not just people you like. Be like Jesus. The world needs more people like that.
On a closing note, I want to point out that while I do not maintain a physical store front I would be happy to sell my wares to anyone. I would sell them to straights, gays, lesbians, cisgendered, transgendered, Christians, atheists, abled, disabled, Klingon, Borg, Brony, Furry, Republican, Democrat, Canadian, Evil Parallel Universe Canadians With Goatees And Razor Sharp Maple Leaves, Chilled out couch potatoes, and irate and antsy rabble rousers. You're all cool.
But no Zombies. Fuck those guys.