Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Perhaps More "Golden Rule" Might be Appropriate?

I have watched with interest the poopstorm that is swirling in the state of Indiana under the leadership of Gov. Pence.

As long-time readers may recall, I've often  expressed my support for gay rights, as I have gay members in my extended family.  They are regular people, with all the hopes and dreams of any regular people, oh, and by the way, just happen to be wired differently than the majority when it comes to the objects of their love affections.

So to me, it's pretty clear.  The Indiana legislation is vile, and despite the "religious freedom" spin that the proponents try to put on it, it's thinly veiled bigotry.

I read a piece by Amanda Marcotte today that truly expresses my thoughts but in a way that is so much better than my words.  Here is an excerpt but you should go read the whole thing.

Up until recently, most of us seemed to understand that the best way to maximize religious freedom for everyone was to stay in your own lane: You can choose what to believe yourself, but if you start trying to force your beliefs on others, that is when a line has been crossed. And while conservatives grumbled about it, there was widespread acceptance of the idea that “force” meant more than just government force. An employer trying to force his employees to follow his religious rules, for instance, was violating religious freedom. A shop owner who refused to serve Jews would also be considered in violation (in most people’s eyes, at least). 

But in the past few years, we’ve witnessed a dramatic and surprisingly successful effort to redefine “religious freedom” to mean “empowering Christian conservatives to force their dogma on the non-believers.” It really started when the HHS passed a regulation requiring insurance plans to cover contraception without a copay. Many conservative employers revolted, claiming their religious freedom should allow them the right to deny workers coverage of procedures or medications they don’t like. 

Materially, it was no different than an employer claiming he cannot practice his religion freely without being able to go to his employee’s house and take away any books he disagrees with that she bought with her paycheck. It was arguing that an employer’s “religious freedom” requires him to force his beliefs on his employee and try to manipulate her compensation in order to get her to live by his religious rules, regardless of her own beliefs. But the Supreme Court bought it and now the door is open.

When is forcing your faith “religious liberty” and when is it just being a dick?

Also, I wonder in the zeal for "religious freedom" how the Golden Rule got bypassed: 

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

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