LIONEL PODCAST: Indiana’s Constitutional and God-Given Right to Hate

“I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” – Indiana Governor Mike Pence

It is written. In the spirit of the good book, I’d like to reference this moment of inspiration. “She lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.” (Ezekiel 23:20 NIV)

I gain such strength from the clarity of his word. And marvel at its continued relevance in my life. Truly. As I am amazed at the room for expansionary re-organization into a modern perspective. Never hoary, never anachronistic, never antediluvian. Never.

Pass the ammunition. Mike Pence (that feller supra) may be seeking the GOP nomination if only in his dreams. He’s repeatedly defended Indiana’s law and has referred to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Bill Clinton and similar legislation once supported by then-Illinois state legislator Barack Obama. As his Aha! moment, ostensibly. But at the time Obama supported the law, it seems Illinois had a provision barring discrimination based on sexual orientation which the Indiana statute lacks. Oops. Pence and his folks say the law, which was passed overwhelmingly by the Republican-led state legislature (imagine that!), will merely keep the government from forcing businesses to act against strongly held religious beliefs they may claim warrant and justify discrimination. Sounds fair to me. Right?

Let us prey. Let’s review the statute, shall we? Indiana’s version of RFRA states in part as follows.

Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability. (b) A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

E pluribus whatever. Now, let’s compare it to the Federal RFRA.

(a) IN GENERAL – Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b).

(b) EXCEPTION – Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person–

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

 

See the difference? Because there is none. It’s a waste of time and potentiality patently palpably unconstitutional on all counts. The government is attempting to address a series of criteria and standards for private business owners to apply before exercising rights that should remain unencumbered. And as horrible as discrimination may seem and in fact is, the legislation that is concocted to address it is worse than the problem itself.

All this about a wedding cake? Seriously? What inane and insane commercial kamikaze would dare ruin business over something as stupid as a cake. what’s more, who in their right mind would want to frequent and patronize an establishment that didn’t want their business? Not to mention, the chance and temptation for a terrorist Pillsbury Carlos the Jackal wannabe to plop a dollop of egesta into the batter matter (à la “The Help“) should dissuade all but the most ardent of point makers. The argument is silly, the cause a waste of time. Shop owners and private commercial establishments have the right to exclude anyone they want. And then suffer the consequences.

%d bloggers like this: