Thursday, April 3, 2014

Religious Tyranny is NOT Religious Freedom

The Governor of Mississippi is about to sign into law SB2681 that gives full permission for business owners to deny services, for landlords to deny housing, and for discrimination to go unstopped even when local communities pass anti-discrimination ordinances. All in the name of “Religious Freedom.”

Black’s Law dictionary, Seventh edition, defines Freedom of Religion as:

“The right to adhere to any form of religion or none, to practice or abstain from practicing religious beliefs, and to be free from governmental interference with or promotion of religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment and Article VI, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution.”

What if your Boss was to tell you what you could do or say (or not do or say), based on his “Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs? What if he threatened to fire you if you did not bend to his will and obey his orders? What if he took away your Freedom of Speech and told you what you could say publicly, or what organizations you could support on your own time as a volunteer, or a donor? Can’t happen in America! Right?

Wrong! In 29 states you can be fired today for simply being a lesbian, gay or bisexual person and in 33 states for being transgender. This is unfair and constitutes a grave injustice. In Cincinnati the Roman Catholic bishop says you can be fired for being LGBT, or even just for supporting Marriage Equality. In Hawaii the Roman Catholic bishop says you can be fired as an Algebra teacher, simply for being legally married to someone of the same gender.

Now, in Mississippi the state government is stripping you of your American Constitutional Rights. This means that you could walk into your favorite restaurant, store, theater, or gas station and be denied service because someone “didn’t like your kind.” That sounds like a time when cowards disguised in white robes intimidated “those people” in the name of “Christian” values. Can’t happen in America today! Right? Wrong!

Unethical politicians are trampling on the Constitutional rights the authors of our Constitution gave to each and every American:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What you believe is your business, a question of your conscience. No one (not even the Great State of Mississippi) has the right to force their beliefs on you and you do not have a right to force your beliefs on others.

The product of authentic religion/spirituality is practical charity, the means of it are earned trust, integrity and real hope. The product of false religion/spirituality is hatred the means of it are suspicion, division and fear.

Religious Tyranny is NOT Religious Freedom.